Missing youth soccer team found alive in Thai cave

6 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:50 p.m. ET, July 2, 2018

The team had hiked through this cave before

From CNN's Jamie Tarabay

Around 1 p.m. last Saturday, the weather was clear when Prajak Sutham, 14, Pipat Bhodi, 15, and some of their soccer teammates chained their bikes to a rail, hooked their backpacks over their shoulders, and hiked into Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the mountains of northern Thailand.

The 12 boys, members of the Wild Boars soccer team, and their 25-year-old coach, had explored the cave before.

Popular with tourists, it's a place locals know well. For the first kilometer (0.6 miles) or so inside the cavernous entrance, limestone rock formations hug high ceilings, creating an almost amphitheater-like atmosphere.

Deeper inside, the passages narrow into places the locals warn it's not safe to go.

For reasons unknown, the boys and their coach ventured on, deeper into the cave network, past signs that warn people not to enter during the rainy season, which usually begins in July.

12:46 p.m. ET, July 2, 2018

Governor: We're trying to send food and doctors into the cave

From CNN's Patrick Sarnsamak

Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osottanakorn said in a press conference that teams are still trying to get medical staff and food into the cave.

“We will send doctor or nurse who can dive. If we can send them, we will send them immediately. We also will send food but not sure that they can eat it or not because it is almost 10 days,” Osottanakorn said.

Families could also be seen cheering about the good news on a live feed on the government's Facebook page.

12:37 p.m. ET, July 2, 2018

Thai government is live streaming the rescue on Facebook

Thailand's government went live on Facebook with footage from the rescue operation.

"Live!!" the government wrote. "Found them."

12:24 p.m. ET, July 2, 2018

How the rescue operation unfolded

Thai soldiers emerge from the mouth of Tham Luang cave, at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai province on July 2, 2018.
Thai soldiers emerge from the mouth of Tham Luang cave, at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai province on July 2, 2018. LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images

A team of 12 soccer players and their coach disappeared nine days ago while hiking through a cave in Thailand. Here's how the search and rescue operation unfolded:

  • June 23: Twelve boys, members of the Wild Boars soccer team, and their 25-year-old coach hiked into Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the mountains of northern Thailand.
  • Hours later: A ranger from the national park alerted authorities when he noticed the bikes still chained up after the park had closed. Search and rescue efforts began.
  • Last Monday: An official with Thailand's national parks told CNN that rising waters blocked the path leaving the group stuck inside the cave network. Thai Royal Navy SEALs posted on Facebook "Handprints were found around cave's wall. But we still cannot locate the kids."
  • Tuesday: The search resumed following a rain delay. Electric cables and ventilation hoses were laid in the cave, the Bangkok Post reported.
  • Thursday: Search crews restarted their efforts after another agonizing five-hour pause due to heavy rain.
  • Friday: A team of six Chinese experts arrived at the site in Chiang Rai province, according to the Chinese Embassy in Thailand.
  • Also on Friday: Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha visited the rescue site.
  • Saturday: Australia deployed a team of six experts from its national police's Specialist Response Group, according to the country's Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop.
  • Today: Rescue teams found all 12 boys and their coaches alive.
12:16 p.m. ET, July 2, 2018

Chiang Rai governor: "They are all safe"

From CNN’s Kocha Olarn

Governor of Chiang Rai, Narongsak Osottanakorn, confirmed during a press conference that the entire soccer team and coach were found safe in the cave. However, their job isn't done yet.

Here's what the governor said:

"We found the 13 people, and they are all safe. But our mission has not done yet. The first plan, we will drain all water out from the cave then we will take all 13 people out of the cave. We are now planning how to send nurse and doctor to inside the cave to check their health and movement. We will work all night."
12:02 p.m. ET, July 2, 2018

JUST IN: Rescuers find missing Thai boys alive in cave

From CNN’s Kocha Olarn

Crews search Thai cave for missing teens 
Crews search Thai cave for missing teens 

Rescue teams found all 12 boys and their coaches alive in a cave in Thailand Monday according to a high ranking person involved in the search and rescue operation. They have been missing for nine days. They are reviewing their health.