Trapped Thai boys rescued; tech companies aid in efforts

Thai Navy SEALs swimming on floodwater inside the cave. Image courtesy of Thai Navy SEALs.

“Wild Boars is finally going home!”

That was mu Space Corp CEO and founder James Yenbamroong’s reaction as he witnessed the final mission to rescue the remaining four teenage players of the football team Wild Boars and their coach who were trapped in Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai, a province in the northern part of Thailand.

mu Space Corp CEO James Yenbamroong

The last person was rescued at 7 pm, local time Tuesday. “Many people have been waiting for this day for a long time,” Yenbamroong said. “We’re glad to see them out safe and thrilled that they’re finally going home.”

On 23 June, the football team went exploring in the cave after a practice game and were reported missing following a heavy downpour. They were found alive by search teams only after over a week of being stranded without food and clean water.

News of the discovery sparked jubilation across Thailand, but it was cut short by news that the football team couldn’t come out yet due to the cave being flooded. “When we heard the news that they were still trapped after two weeks, we quickly assembled a team of engineers to arrive in the area to give support to the rescuers,” said Yenbamroong.

Last week on Saturday, Thailand-based satellite and space company mu Space had sent five of its staff engineers to assist in the rescue mission.

“We collaborated with several private companies and universities who wanted to help in the rescue,” informed Yenbamroong. “Google provided useful data and Weather Decision Technologies aided the rescuers with weather forecast models. US-based aerospace manufacturer SpaceX, who also offered support, contacted us to help them connect to the Thai government.”

Indian firm Kirloskar Brothers Limited was also involved – according to a letter by Don Pramudwinai, the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs, they offered “technical expertise in fluid management”.

Thai Navy SEALs inside the flooded Tham Luang cave. Image courtesy of Thai Navy SEALs.

The final rescue mission in Tuesday brought an end to an 18-day long ordeal.

“The Thai Navy SEALs, divers, water pumping and drilling teams, professional climbers, and K9 units played a big role in the search and rescue of the 12 boys and their football coach,” explained Yenbamroong, adding that “foreign individuals and teams from Australia, Belgium, China, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Sweden, UK and USA also extended support to operations.”

Confirming the completion of the rescue operation, the Thai Navy SEALs on their Facebook page posted: “We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave.”

Meanwhile, the eight boys rescued earlier on Sunday and Monday are being treated in a hospital in Chiang Rai. “They’re healthy, fever-free, mentally fit and seem to be in high spirits,” according to a CNN report. “They’ll mostly be eating a food similar to milk and rich in proteins and nutrients.”

“Finally, they’re out of the cave and going home. We wish the 12 brave boys and their coach a speedy recovery,” concluded Yenbamroong.

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