Thai rescue operation a success; all 12 boys and coach pulled from cave

All 12 boys and their soccer coach, trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand since June 23, were rescued over the last three days. 

By: AP and World Israel News St

Thailand’s navy SEALs say all 12 boys, between the ages of 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old soccer coach have been rescued from a flooded cave in far northern Thailand, ending an ordeal that lasted more than two weeks.

The last four boys and the coach were rescued Tuesday. The others were pulled out in the previous two days.

The rescue operation began at 10 a.m. Sunday when expert divers entered the cave. Trips from the entrance to where the team is trapped and back takes about 11 hours.

The boys rescued Sunday and Monday were taken immediately to hospital and put in isolation for risk of infection. Four were reportedly permitted to have their parents visit, but they were required to wear face masks and stand six feet away.

Two reportedly had lung infections but none has a fever. They appear to be in good spirits and on the road to recovery, but will be getting support for post-traumatic stress.

The condition of those rescued Tuesday is unclear.

Israeli rescuers have been part of the international effort to extract the children from the flooded cave, and Israeli technology has helped maintain communication between the outside world and the trapped boys.

The group, members of the Wild Boars elite football team, had been exploring the area after a practice game when they became stranded in the cave on June 23. Monsoon flooding prevented them from escaping.