12 Soccer Players Found Alive After Going Missing in Cave for 10 Days


It was June 23 when 12 soccer players, ages 11 through 16, and their coach, entered a cave at a national park in Thailand.

In a frightening turn of events, the group found themselves stranded in the dark labyrinth when unrelenting rain caused quick and furious flooding throughout the cave.

A park employee first noticed something was wrong after spotting the boys’ bicycles abandoned near the entrance of the cave complex. The boys are members of the Wild Boar soccer team and had gone out for an afternoon of adventure with their coach, 25.

An international search and rescue operation quickly ensued.

Diving and cave rescue experts from around the world came to try and find the boys, but weather conditions made the search impossible.

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Nine long days and nights passed with cave entrances blocked by high, muddy waters. Rescuers worked to find alternative entrances to the cave, while others began drilling into the cave in an effort to drain the high waters.

On July 2, the governor of Chiang Rai province, Narongsak Osatanakorn, announced the miraculous news that all 13 members of the team had been found. All 13 are alive — weak, but alive.

Immediate assistance is coming to the team, who are too weak to endure the long, tricky journey out of the cave.

In the meantime, the boys are receiving medical treatment, including food.

“We will take care of them until they can move,” Osatanakorn said. “We will bring food to them and a doctor who can dive.”

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In the meantime, rescuers are carefully planning the rescue. Veteran rescue diver Butch Hendrick told CNN the boys will have to be removed one by one, and each trip could take hours.

“They’d have to make sure that each one was successfully out before they started with the next one,” Hendrick said. “Because if they suddenly had a problem they don’t want to be halfway through the exit and realize they have to go back.”

Rescue teams are committed to working around the clock until everyone is out safely.

The doctor will determine when the boys and their coach are strong enough to endure the rescue.

“Now they’ve got to try and figure out how to get these 13 very weak footballers out of the caves and that is going to be an enormous task,” said CNN journalist Tim Newton.

In the meantime, everyone is breathing a massive sigh of relief that the team has been found. “You are very strong, very strong,” a British rescue team member told the team.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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