Thai Navy SEAL release video of boys found alive after nine days
After a gruelling search that entered its ninth day, a team of rescuers in Thailand found twelve boys and their assistant soccer coach alive on Monday. A video released by Thai Navy SEAL on its official Facebook page shows young Thai footballers in a dark cave near a pool of water.
In the video, flickering torchlight revealed boys clad in shorts and red and blue shirts in an underground cave beside an expanse of water, Reuters reported.
The 5-minute-long video shows young footballers in frail condition. They appear thin, petite and sensitive to light.
The team of young Thai footballers went missing inside a Thai cave complex on June 23. As per reports, the rescued footballers and the coach will receive four months' food and diving training.
"(We will) prepare to send additional food to be sustained for at least four months and train all 13 to dive while continuing to drain the water," Navy Captain Anand Surawan said, according to a statement from Thailand's Armed Forces.
The boys, aged between 11 and 16, along with their 25-year-old coach, went missing after their soccer practice on June 23. The team had set out to explore the Tham Luang cave complex in a forest park close to the Myanmar border, Reuters reported.
Countries like the United States and China had launched a massive rescue effort to help Thai authorities locate the young footballers. The rescue teams battled through thick mud and high water to try to reach the group in the cave network that stretches 10 km (6 miles) into a mountain.
"Thai Navy seals have found all 13 with signs of life," Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn told media.
The medical condition of the rescued team remains unclear, however, they have been given energy gels to sustain them while they are brought back to safety. It is being reported that it would take the medical teams around four hours to assess the group's health and their level of fitness.
"Power gel and sustenance equipment has been brought ... to the team ... and we've sent people to keep them company until the transport plan can begin," Thai navy SEAL unit said on its official Facebook page.
The next challenge will be getting the group out of the cave, which some have dubbed a "labyrinth".
(With inputs from agencies)