Thai cave rescue: Trapped soccer team dug a 5-yard tunnel in an attempt to escape

The doctor added that the Wild Boards team had better physical and mental health than expected and it was all because of their 25-year-old "dedicated" coach


                            Thai cave rescue: Trapped soccer team dug a 5-yard tunnel in an attempt to escape

The Navy doctor who stayed with the 12 stranded boys and their soccer coach in a flooded cave in Thailand on Tuesday praised them for their "great morale" and revealed how the children attempted to dig a tunnel in an effort to get out of the cavern.

Lt Col Dr Pak Loharachun, in a Facebook post, wrote that he was impressed by the youngsters' "optimism and great morale" and added how the boys used bits of rock in a bid to escape.

The boys smiling and waving at the camera from their hospital beds after being rescued. (Twitter)
The boys smiling and waving at the camera from their hospital beds after being rescued. (Twitter)

"Every day, the kids dug a hole into a wall with rock fragments to find a way out,' he said. The army doctor reportedly chose to stay with the boys because of his medical and diving skills. 

'They managed to dig five metres deep although they had nothing to eat,' Loharachun added, according to Bangkok Post.

The soccer team, which calls themselves Wild Boar, was found earlier this month after they went missing during an excursion with their coach when they decided to walk into the Tham Luang cave complex on June 23 and were trapped inside for 18 days because of the rising waters.

Thai officers supervise the rescue mission inside Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 28, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. (Getty Images) 

Thai officers supervise the rescue mission inside Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 28, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. (Getty Images) 

The doctor added that the Wild Boards team had better physical and mental health than expected and it was all because of their 25-year-old "dedicated" coach who take care of them all these days in the underground cave. The boys ranged from ages 11 to 16.

Reports also state that the coach used to 'wait' until all the boys finished eating and only then he would take his meal. The navy doctor also noted in his post that all the children were very well disciplined and always put garbage in black plastic bags after every meal, the Daily Mail reported.

Relatives of the missing boys show photos of them after the 12 boys and their soccer coach have been found alive in the cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand. (Getty Images)
Relatives of the missing boys show photos of them after the 12 boys and their soccer coach have been found alive in the cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand. (Getty Images)

"I saw from the first day that Ek waited for the boys to satisfy their hunger first. He gave his meal to the young. Coach Ek has a beautiful heart. He is truly dedicated," the doctor wrote.

After days of a nearly impossible search and rescue operation, the boys were spotted by world-famous British divers, who found them huddled together on a rock looking emaciated in the dingy cave. The divers had volunteered to assist in the search and rescue operation.



As the cave was fast filling with floodwater, the multi-nation rescue team devised a plan to get the boys out and was successful in their efforts as all the boys and their coach were safely rescued. A former Thai Navy Seal, who had also volunteered to help, however, died in the operation.

All the boys and their coach have been kept in isolation in a hospital in Chiang Rau ever since their rescue as medical experts are running tests to check if they had contacted any kind of infection after staying in the dark, bat-infested cave for days.

British cave-diver Richard William Stanton walks out from Tham Luang Nang Non cave in full kit without any response to reporter's questions on June 28, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. (Getty Images)
British cave-diver Richard William Stanton walks out from Tham Luang Nang Non cave in full kit without any response to reporter's questions on June 28, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. (Getty Images)

"All the boys of the Moo Paa team are aware of all rescuers' dedication to the search for them. And I am confident that the Moo Paa boys will grow to become excellent citizens, contribute to the country and bring good reputation to it in the future," Loharachu added.