13 for 13

The Wild Boars are out of the cave:

All 12 youth football players and their coach have now been rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand, following a three-day operation.

The final four school boys and their coach, who had been trapped in the Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai for 18 days, were carried out on stretchers to waiting ambulances on Tuesday afternoon.

Among those extracted today is the youngest member of the team, 11-year-old Chanin Wiboonrungruang, whose nickname is Titan.

The governor of the rescue mission had previously said Tuesday’s operation would be more difficult than the previous two days, due to the increased number of people who need to be evacuated.

Following the last boys and their 25-year-old coach will be four Thai Navy SEALs – including a medic – who have been staying with the group since they were discovered huddled together on a muddy ledge 2,620ft (800 metres) underground on July 2.

The Thai Navy SEALs confirmed the successful rescue on their official Facebook page, writing: ’12 wild boars and coach out of the cave. Everyone is safe. Now just waiting to pick up four frogs. Hooyah.’

Amazing. And while the story never truly ends, it’s great to see this particular chapter come to a close on a high and happy note.

“As long as you fight, as long as you believe in yourself we will go through the bad things and will succeed in life.”
– Thitiporn Anurakkhana

If anyone ever had an excuse for despair, if anyone ever had a rational reason to just give up, it was those 12 boys. They are an object lesson in the importance of fighting until the very end. I wonder how many of them will become SEALs themselves?