The Thai Navy SEAL on Wednesday (4 July) shared a video on their official Facebook page in which the young football team members trapped in the bowels of a Thai cave were seen laughing and saying they are well.
In the Thai Navy SEAL footage, 11 of the 12 members of the football team can be seen. The video shows the boys making a traditional Thai greeting gesture to the camera before introducing themselves by nickname. “I’m in good health,” each of them said in local language.
Accompanied by a smiling diver in a wetsuit, several of the boys in the frame can be seen wearing protective foil blankets.
Their 25-year-old coach, who accompanied the boys down the cave after football training on June 23, is not heard in the footage.
It is the second video to delight the whole of Thailand that has held its breath ever since the boys went missing. The the 13 footballers have been located, their rescue to the mainland from kilometres inside one of the country’s longest caves will be complex and take time.
The one-minute clip ends on a jovial note, with one of the 12 young footballers saying he was forgotten in the round of introductions, sparking laughter.
The boys appear relaxed and much more alert than when they were discovered late Monday by British divers, as they took shelter from surging underground waters on a muddy ledge.
Outside the cave, the mother of one of the boys teared up as she watched the clip on a television screen. “He is thinner,” she said as she ran her finger over his image.
Several Navy SEAL divers have been deployed along with medics, while the challenging process of evacuating the “Wild Boar” team has begun.
Thai authorities say the focus is now on building up the boys’ physical and mental strength after an ordeal that has left them emaciated.
They have three main options in front of them — diving out of the cave system, exiting through another hole if one can be found, drilled, waiting underground for the rainy season to get over.
Experts say diving out is laden with risk. The boys have never dived before and may not be able to swim. Areas of the cave remain submerged and the murky waters are very difficult to navigate, even if the boys are given good equipment and a crash-course in how to dive, say the experts.
The last option could be protracted as the monsoon begins to bite. Officials said they have stored food, medicine and equipment at an underground base that will last for up to four months.
(With PTI inputs)