On June 23rd, a boys’ soccer team in Thailand decided to explore the Tham Luang Nang Non cave. The caves are a popular destination, but signs warn hikers not to go into them during the rainy season, which begins around the end of June. The boys went deeper into the cave when it started raining hard.
The boys get trapped
On the night of the 23rd, a park ranger noticed the boys’ bikes chained up, and a search-and-rescue effort quickly began. Shoes and handprints were found throughout the cave system, but rescuers were continually forced back due to flooding. Even with pumps and equipment divers were having a difficult time trying to make their way through the always rising water.
By June 29th organizations from around the world including experts from China show up to help in the rescue efforts. Holes are drilled throughout the cave to relieve the flooding and climbers are sent down into the caves.
On Monday July 2nd, the 12 boys and their soccer coach are all found alive inside the cave. The boys were quickly given food and supplies, but experts can’t figure out how to get the boys out of the cave.
The boys can’t find a way out
Making the rescue even more complicated is the fact that the team is stuck in a narrow and deep part of the cave. Every attempt to pump water away from the area have been unsuccessful. Navy Seal Chief Rear Adm. Aphakorn Yoo-kongkaeq told reporters that the boys were being given food to get their strength back and that there is no need to rush the rescue.
Capt. Akanand Surawan, a commander with the Royal Thai Navy, said that the boys have been supplied with four months of food. The four months timeline may be a potential sign that experts will wait until after the rainy season ends in October to begin the rescue operation.
However, with steady rains expected to start again soon, rescuers may be forced to act quickly. Due to the unpredictable and fast-moving water in the caves diving the boys out is considered extremely dangerousness and risky.