In the wake of the successful extraction of the youth football team trapped in a vast network of caves, Thailand Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday expressed his gratitude to everyone involved in the rescue operation.
“On the behalf of Thai Government, I would like to reiterate my sincere gratitude for the determination and sacrifice of all involved in this mission including individual volunteers, government officials, private companies and the press corp for their assistance in sharing expertise, manpower and equipment and also people around the world for their moral support throughout this ordeal,” Prayut said in his address.
He also thanked the King and the Royal family for extending their support during times of crisis, like these.
“At a time of crisis, when the Thai people are facing with hardship, His Majesty the King and all members of the Royal Family have always expressed concern and shown kindness by bestowing guidance and moral support as well as Royal support to the rescue mission,” Prayut added.
PM Prayut took a moment to pay his tributes to former Thai Navy Seal Diver Petty Officer First Class Saman Kunan, who volunteered and lost his life during the mission.
“His honour, sacrifice and legacy will always be in our hearts,” added Prayut.
Aged between 11 and 16 years old, the 12 members of the Wild Boar soccer team and their 25-year-old coach were trapped in the Tham Luang network of caves in Northern Thailand.
They were found on July 2 by British divers after being stuck in a deep chamber in the cave system, dubbed as ‘Pattaya Beach’, for nine days.
Earlier, United States President Donald Trump had also congratulated the Thai Navy SEALs for the “successful” rescue operation.
“On behalf of the United States, congratulations to the Thai Navy SEALs and all on the successful rescue of the 12 boys and their coach from the treacherous cave in Thailand. Such a beautiful moment – all freed, great job!” Trump tweeted.
The rescue operation, which commenced on Sunday, was carried out in three phases.
On Sunday, it took 11 hours to bring out four persons. A second rescue operation was carried out the following day by the same team of divers, and took only nine hours to bring out the next four, the report said.
All eight boys were rescued by divers using guide ropes and shared oxygen tanks.
Further, three boys were rescued on Tuesday morning, while the remaining two, along with their coach, were rescued later in the day.
All are being treated in a Chiang Rai hospital in an isolation ward. The rescued boys are said to be in “high spirits.”