Thai cave boys to get 4 months’ food, learn to dive:
Some people were seen praying after hearing the news.
Some people were seen praying after hearing the news.

THAILAND: It’s a scene of joy and relief across Thailand after 12 boys and their football coach were found after being trapped for nine days in a flooded cave.

Relatives who had for days been gathered outside the cave waiting for news cheered as they heard the group had been found by British rescue divers in the Tham Luang cave complex.

Thousands of people have also used social media to celebrate with a hashtag that simply says: “13 Survived”.

More than 1,000 people were involved in the extensive search operation, which saw naval divers, military officers and rescue workers band together in the region of Chiang Rai.

“I’m delighted. I don’t know how to describe it in words... it’s unimaginable,” the father of one of the boys said when he heard the news.

“I’ve been waiting for 10 days. I never imagined this day would come... I just want to see my son and hug him, that’s more than enough.” Across social media, there was an outpouring of relief and thanks, with many posting with the hashtag #13Survived. Meanwhile, rescuers braced for a long and difficult evacuation for 13 members of a Thai youth football team found alive in a cave nine days after they went missing, as food and medicine was shuttled to them though muddy waters on Tuesday. The 12 young boys and their football coach were discovered rake thin and hungry on a mound of mud surrounded by water late Monday, ending the agonising search that captivated a nation.

But the focus quickly shifted to the tricky task of how to evacuate them safely from the still-flooded caverns. Much-needed food and medical supplies -- including high-calorie gels and paracetamol -- reached them Tuesday as rescuers prepared for a prolonged extraction operation. The Thai military said it is providing months’ worth of food and diving lessons to the boys to help them out of the waterlogged Tham Luang network in the country’s monsoon-drenched north. “(We will) prepare to send additional food to be sustained for at least four months and train all 13 to dive while continuing to drain the water,” Navy Captain Anand Surawan said. He refused to say how long they might be trapped, but experts said it could take weeks or even months.

The boys were discovered at about 10:00 pm Monday by British divers some 400 metres (1,300 feet) from where they were believed to be stranded several kilometres inside the cave.

In the video, posted on the Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page, one of the boys asks the rescuers to “go outside”.

In response the British diver says: “No, no not today... many, many people are coming... we are the first,” in reference to the vast and complex rescue operation that has taken over the mountainside.




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