Yesterday, 10th July 2018, the long-awaited major operation to save the twelve Thai youth football team members stacked in a flooded cave with their trainer after an excursion went wrong were all extracted from the cave. All the thirteen people who were saved are all in the Chiang Rai city hospital and according to doctors are all in great shape and speedily recovering even though they have drastically lost weight.
There is also a fear of the boys developing mental health problems such as Post-traumatic stress disorder and as such the boys are expected to go through psychotherapy to help them cope with the stress and anxiety they might have gone through during their almost month-long ordeal deep in the cave. Before rescuers discovered the boys, they survived by drinking water dripping from the cave. Initially, experts predicted that the operation to get the boys out of the cave would take about two months, comparing it to an almost similar operation which took place in 2016 when a group of Chilean miners were trapped in a cave in Chile. The operation lasted for a little over two weeks after a major operation to rescue them begun on Sunday. The first four boys were extracted on Sunday with the last group saved on Tuesday.
Rear Adm.Arpakorn Yuukongkaew, the leader of the Thai Navy seals spoke on behalf of the Thai navy and expressed his happiness and gratitude to all who assisted in the rescue operation to make it a success. In a press statement, he said “I am happy and I believe the Thai people are happy too” he went on to talk about how they initially had little hope of success during the operation “we have had a few setbacks because the water levels have been rising gradually, we didn’t think we could do this”. The news about the successful completion of the rescue operation yesterday brought joy and relief to Thailand and even beyond. Many Thai people took to social media to express their joy and gratitude with hashtags including #Heroes and #Thankyou trending for a short time on Twitter.
In all, a team of 90 divers took part in the dramatic rescue operation. The multinational team of divers guided the boys through the murky waters of the cave to the mouth of the cave. The operation was not an easy one as divers had to swim, walk and climb through the extremely narrow parts and darkness of the cave. What made the operation extremely tedious was that none of the boys trapped in the cave could swim.
In the heat of professionals coming together with ideas on how to extract the boys from the cave, Elon Musk the tech giant and CEO of Telsa and SpaceX came out with a brilliant idea of building a kid-sized submarine. It took his team of engineers a few days to build a kid-sized submarine but his submarine was declared futile and ‘unpractical’ in the rescue say authorities. Even though his high invention was not used, several people have praised him for his willingness to help, idea and new invention which could be useful in the near future.
By William Akuffo-Addo