The dramatic rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave in Thailand has prompted emotional outpourings online from well-wishers, who shared drawings praying for their safe return and a homage to the incredible team of rescuers who saved them.
On Tuesday, Thailand's Navy SEALs announced all 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach had been rescued from a flooded cave, ending an ordeal that lasted more than two weeks.
Four of the boys and their coach were rescued on Tuesday, while the others had been freed from the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand's Chiang Rai province on Sunday and Monday.
Cartoon images of the smiling boys being found by divers have been circulating on social media along with messages for the team: 'Stay Strong, We are Coming' and 'Don't Give Up.'
have flooded social networks, paying tribute to the incredible team of
rescuers, from countries across the world, as well as the former Navy
SEAL who died.
A cartoon drawing pays homage to all those who contributed to the rescue effort - with each group represented by a different animal. The boys and their coach are drawn as wild boars, frogs represent the world-class divers and a blue lion represents the English volunteers
Some show the boys as wild boars - a reference to the name of the boys' football team.
One of the drawings pays homage to all those who contributed to the rescue effort - with each group represented by a different animal.
In this picture, 12 small wild boars and one slightly bigger one are led to freedom by a white elephant, representing Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotanakorn - the public face of the rescue effort.
Also among the rescuers depicted in the image is a white horse, representing all the heroes involved in the mission, as well as a seal for the Thai Navy SEALs, frogs to symbolise the world-class divers and a lion honouring the English rescuers.
One popular image paid tribute to the former Thai Navy SEAL who died on Friday.
Hero Saman Gunan, 38, who was working as a volunteer, died while replenishing oxygen canisters laid at regular intervals along the route out of the sprawling Tham Luang cave.
Bangkok-based cartoonist Stephff drew a cartoon showing a diver wearing a cape, bearing the flags of nations involved in the rescue mission, with one of the boys
A cartoon image of a boy, shown as a wild boar, being rescued by divers along with the message: 'Keep going. We will always be here for you'
Eight of the boys were rescued by a team of 18 Thai and international divers on Sunday and Monday.
Thailand's Navy SEALs, who were central to the rescue effort, said on their Facebook page that the remaining four boys and their 25-year-old coach were all brought out safely on Tuesday.
are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen
Wild Boars are now out of the cave,' the SEALs said, referring to the
name of the boys' soccer team.
'Everyone is safe.'
They said they were waiting for a medic and three SEALs who had stayed with the boys in their dark refuge deep inside the cave complex to come out.
erupted at a local government office where dozens of volunteers and
journalists were awaiting news of whether the intricate and high-risk
rescue mission had succeeded.
Helicopters taking the boys to a hospital roared overhead.
One popular image paid tribute to former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan who died on Friday. A caption above the drawing says: 'It's alright, grow up to be a good man, OK?'
Saman Gunan (pictured) died while replenishing oxygen canisters laid at regular intervals along the route out of the sprawling Tham Luang cave
This drawing captures the moment the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys were found by a pair of British divers
The boys were trapped in the Tham Luan Nang Non cave on June 23, when they were exploring it after soccer practice and it became flooded by monsoon rains
Payap Maiming, 40, who helped provide food and necessities to rescue workers and journalists, said a 'miracle' had happened.
happy for Thais all over the country, for the people of Mae Sai, and
actually just everyone in the world because every news channel has
presented this story and this is what we have been waiting for,' she
'It's really a miracle. It's hope and faith that has brought us this success.'
plight of the boys and their coach has captivated Thailand and much of
the world - from the heart-sinking news that they were missing to the
first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys when
they were found 10 days later by a pair of British divers.
They were trapped in the Tham Luan Nang Non cave on June 23, when they were exploring it after a soccer practice and it became flooded by monsoon rains.
Each of the boys, aged 11 to 16
and with no diving experience, was guided out by a pair of divers in
three days of intricate and high-stakes operations.
The route, in some places just a crawl space, had oxygen canisters positioned at regular intervals to refresh each team's air supply.
Each of the boys, aged 11 to 16 and with no diving experience, was guided out by a pair of divers in three days of intricate and high-stakes operations
Cave diving experts had warned it was potentially too risky to dive the youngsters out.
Thai officials, acutely aware that the boys could be trapped for months
by monsoon rains that would swell waters in the cave system, seized a
window of opportunity provided by relatively mild weather.
A massive water pumping effort also made the winding cave more navigable. The confidence of the diving team, and expertise specific to the cave, grew after its first successful mission.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, speaking before the final rescue was
completed, said the boys were given an anti-anxiety medication to help
with their perilous removal from the cave.
Prayuth said the Tham Luan Nang Non cave would be closed for some time to make it safe for visitors.
The Navy battle cry 'Hooyah!' is seen written above a drawing depicting the 12 boys and their coach as wild boars - a reference to the name of the boys' football team
Another drawing paid tribute to the international team of rescuing with the words 'thank you' written in several languages
eight boys brought out by divers on Sunday and Monday were doing well
and were in good spirits, a senior health official said.
There were given a treat Tuesday: bread with chocolate spread that they'd requested.
Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, said the first four boys rescued were able to eat normal food, though they couldn't yet take the spicy dishes favored by many Thais.
Two of the boys possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally 'healthy and smiling,' he said.
'The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems,' Jedsada said.
On Tuesday, Thailand's Navy SEALs announced all 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach (pictured together) had been rescued from a flooded cave
Thai officials, acutely aware that the boys could be trapped for months by monsoon rains that would swell waters in the cave system, seized a window of opportunity provided by relatively mild weather
'Everyone is in high spirits and are happy to get out. But we will have a psychiatrist to evaluate them.'
It could be at least seven days before they can be released from the hospital, Jedsada told a news conference.
Family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass isolation barrier.
It was clear doctors were taking a cautious approach. Jedsada said they were uncertain what type of infections the boys could face 'because we have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave.'
If medical tests show no dangers, after another two days, parents will be able to enter the isolation area dressed in sterilized clothing and staying two metres away from the boys, said Tosthep Bunthong, a public health official.
John Tangkitcharoenthawon, a local village chairman who was working as a volunteer translator for the tourist police, was bursting with happiness at the successful rescue.
'If this place had a roof, the morale has gone straight through it,' he said.