On Monday afternoon, news channels around the world began reporting that a Thai football team, who had been lost in a cave for nine days, had been found alive.
The twelve boys and their coach went missing on June 23rd after they went into the cave when it was dry. It is thought that sudden heavy rain blocked them from getting out and they were stuck there until experienced divers found them on a ledge around three miles inside the cave.
The ongoing search for the group, aged between 11 and 16 and their 25-year-old coach, has gripped Thailand and the rest of the world. The discovery that the whole group is alive is nothing short of miraculous.
Two British rescue divers found the boys on Monday after swimming through the narrow, dark cave searching for them. These men were called in to assist in the days after the group went missing.
Despite surviving against the odds, the rescue mission is now in a race against time for the group. The authorities in Thailand have said the boys can’t swim and the rescue operation could take months due to the flooded cave waters.
In the first instance, food, warm clothes and medical assistance are being given to the group, but the tricky operation of getting them out of the cave safely during the rainy season is very risky.
This operation will need precise planning on whether to teach the boys diving skills so they can get out through the flooded caves or wait it out for weeks or months until the water subsides.
Whatever happens, the world is watching this amazing story of survival and how the rescue operation will be undertaken.
It is heartening to know that the divers who found the boys are British and represent the best in the world in their field.
Some of the best expertise available is assisting the boys and their families. We must now wait and see how the rescue operation unfolds but we will all hope and pray they can be brought back to the surface safely.