It has just been reported that all 12 boys and their coach, who have been trapped in the Tham Luang cave system in Thailand since 23 June, are now safely out. Three Thai Navy SEALs and a doctor are still in the complex, but hopefully they will be extracted soon.

In a story that has gripped the entire world, elite divers from around the world converged on Thailand along with thousands of local people in a massive rescue bid to locate the missing children, aged between 11-16, and their coach. They had gone into the cave while it was dry, but were then cut off from the exit by flood waters.

It was nine days later, on 2 July, that British divers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton finally managed to reach the hungry and tired group, who were sheltering from the flood water on a patch of dry rock. Other divers then ferried food and supplies into the children and their coach, and a Navy doctor was taken in to check them over.

Initially there was talk of waiting some four months until the flood waters subsided and they could walk out, but fears of storms being more rain, and possibly flooding their small dry area, meant this was not an option. The only way they were getting out was with the assistance of the divers.

Sadly, the rescue was marred on 6 July by the tragic death of former Thai Navy SEAL Petty Officer Saman Gunan, who died after becoming unconscious while delivering air tanks into the cave system. It is understood he will be honoured with a state funeral.

On Sunday, the rescue operation to bring the boys and their coach out of the cave complex began in earnest. Four boys were extracted that day, followed by four more on Monday, and the remaining four and their coach exited today.

This was a shining example of how the world can come together in a crisis, and we join everyone in heaping praise on all those involved in this extremely challenging and risky rescue operation.



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