The success of rescue operation of twelve boys and their football coach who were trapped in a cave in northern Thailand for more than a fortnight came as a big relief for the entire world.
The mission to get the boys out ended on Tuesday after 72 hours of meticulous planning, cooperation and no small amount of luck.
The boys, aged 11 to 16, had no diving or scuba experience but quickly had to learn what they could. Foreign and Thai Navy SEAL divers practiced with them near the muddy embankment where the young footballers were found nine nights after walking into Tham Luang on June 23.
“They are getting forced to do something that no kid has ever done before. It is not in any way normal for kids to go cave diving at age 11,” Ivan Karadzic, who runs a diving business in Thailand, told the BBC on Tuesday.
They came out one by one, with four emerging on Sunday, four on Monday, and the remaining four and the coach extracted Tuesday. Each round trip took around 10 hours on average, but the final day of mission was fastest, with the last five confirmed out in about nine hours.
Experts worried that the boys would panic, triggering an underwater accident. And thisconcern lead to giving them tranquilisers.
Prayut said that a “minor tranquilliser” had been used to help keep the kids calm on the terrifying swim to freedom, much of it in water with very low or no visibility.
All the efforts of the rescue team came to success when all the boys were out safely.