HM the King thanks the world for help in cave rescue
His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn expressed his sincerest thanks and appreciation to everyone in Thailand and around the world who have been lending helping hands and support to the heroic attempt to rescue 12 young boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in northern Thailand for nearly two weeks.
“The circumstance has clearly shown the power of unity in action, power of love and goodwill towards fellow men regardless of race and religious beliefs. I am pleased to extend the sincerest thanks and appreciation to all concerned and wishing them every success in the coming phases of this endeavor,’’ H.M. King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Thailand’s monarch, wrote in a three-paragraph official statement from the palace.
Thai Navy Seals have been working shoulder-to-shoulder with military teams from the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as global cave-diving experts, to reach the trapped soccer team. The challenge now is to devise a way to pull or lead them out from deep inside the flooded cave in the northernmost province of Chiang Rai.
The risks and dangers involved hit home on Friday when a former Thai Navy Seal who volunteered for the rescue operation died during the effort. Retired Petty Officer 1st class Saman Kunan, 37, who worked as a security officer at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, ran out of oxygen during the five-and-a-half hour swim it takes to reach the chamber where the boys, now weak and malnourished, have been sheltering from the flood waters.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha sent a personal letter of appreciation to U.S. President Donald Trump. “Mr. President, the prompt humanitarian assistance that the United States provided to Thailand on this urgent matter is indeed a testament to the remarkable friendship between our two countries,’’ the Prime Minister wrote.
It was more than the U.S. government and military, however, who were offering ideas, assistance, and hopes and prayers. Thai embassies and government offices have been deluged with emails and letters from people around the world, including many from the United States, with tips and advice on possible solutions to the difficult task of extracting the trapped boys.
Among those offering resources was Elon Musk, chairman of Tesla Corporation, who said he is willing to send a team of engineers to Chiang Rai. A spokesman for Musk said could assist by trying to pinpoint the boys’ precise location using Space Exploration Technologies Corporation or Boring Company technology, pumping water or providing heavy-duty battery packs known as Tesla Inc. Powerwalls.
Inventive ideas, however, didn’t all come from professional inventors. “Maybe the trekking teams scouting the outside mountain could locate a natural hole/chimney opening quicker if the boys sounded loud horns from inside the cave. Drones with audio devices, dogs etc., might help trekking teams listen for horns outside to help them narrow the search for an outside natural opening,” said one email signed: “Prayers from USA mom.”
All of Thailand earnestly and deeply appreciates all the help and prayers.