All 12 Thai boys and their coach have been rescued from Tham Luang cave where they were trapped — but it wasn’t an easy process getting them out.
The Tham Luang cave network is roughly six miles long and the trapped team was found roughly two and a half miles into the cave. It took divers between nine and eleven hours to reach the boys and return, plus they had to navigate passages that are only three feet wide and two feet tall. There were also portions of the trip above water, where divers had to walk across muddy, uneven terrain with their tanks.
The team extracting the boys consisted of 15+ international divers and Thai Navy SEALs. Two divers were assigned to each boy, and they were given full-face SCUBA masks, boots, and helmets. Each boy was tethered to one of the divers who were carrying oxygen tanks for them and a pre-placed rope was used to guide their way to the exit. None of the boys had been diving before and some didn’t know how to swim — they were also weak from falling oxygen levels and limited food and water.
It took divers eleven hours to rescue the first four boys but only nine hours to rescue the second four boys the next day. After 17 days, all of the boys and their coach have been rescued — and focus is now being turned to their recovery.