12 young Thai players and their coach finally rescued after being trapped in a cave in Thailand for two weeks; invited to Fifa World Cup Final, the boys won’t be able to attend it as they recover from their ordeal
Here’s a timeline of the 18-day-long incident for which the world united and restored faith in humanity:
23 June Saturday
After their Football practice, Twelve boys aged 11 to 16 and their 25-year-old coach enter the Tham Luang Nang Non-cave network in northern Thailand. Heavy rain caused the cave to flood. Boys were reported missing after they did not reach home that night. Local officials found bicycles locked to a fence and shoes and football boots close to the entrance.
24 June Sunday
Park officials and police begin a major search operation. Friends and relatives keep vigil outside the cave. Rescuers forced to suspend search operations due to heavy rains.
25 June Monday
Thai navy Seal divers enter the cave carrying food and oxygen tanks as they find handprints and footprints believed to belong to the team. Makeshift shrines are set up for parents as heavy rain continues. The boys are believed to have retreated further into the cave.
26 June Tuesday
Divers reach a T-junction but are forced back by rushing flood waters that clog a narrow crevice near an elevated air pocket called Pattaya Beach. Thailand’s prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, asks the nation for help.
27 June Wednesday
Search widens as they receive international support. A team of more than 30 US military personnel from the US Pacific Command arrive, joined by three British diving experts.
28 June Thursday
Water pumps are brought in to drain the rising flood water. Search for alternate entrance begin. British divers and drones are sent. Heavy downpour again results in flood inside the cave forcing a suspension of the rescue operation.
29 June Friday
The Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha visits the site and asks the relatives and rescuers not to give up hope.
30 June Saturday
A break in the rain allows divers to make their way further inside the cave, boys still not found.
1 July Sunday
An operating base is set up in ‘chamber three’ about 700 metres into the cave complex. Hundreds of oxygen tanks and other supplies are brought in.
2 July Monday
Late evening, the 12 boys and their coach are found alive and safe sheltering on a ledge surrounded by water. The team was underground for 9 days when they were finally located.
3 July Tuesday
Blankets, food, water and medical aid is sent to the team. Officials begin formulating a plan to retrieve the team as there’s a possibility that they may remain in the cave for some time.
4 July Wednesday
Officials say the group are being taught how to use diving masks and breathing apparatuses. A medical team reports that the boys and coach have only light injuries. Teams pump out more water.
5 July Thursday
The water level inside the cave is reduced. The boys now have foil blankets, food, light and seven divers – including medics. Authorities announce expected rains may force a complex rescue.
6 July Friday
A Thai former Navy Seal, Saman Kunan, dies after passing out during an overnight mission to make an airline along the route. Thailand's Navy SEAL commander says oxygen levels inside have dropped. He warns the window of opportunity to free the youngsters is "limited". Elon Musk announces he will send a team of engineers to Thailand to assist in the rescue efforts.
7 July Saturday
Authorities declared they had to rescue the group quicker than first thought. because rainfall was forecast to grow more intense. Rescue operations chief Narongsak Osottanakorn says the boys are not ready to dive to safety. A scrawled message emerges from the team's coach, offering his "apologies" to their parents.
8 July Sunday
Divers lead four of the boys out of the cave as night falls. All four were airlifted to the hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai. Authorities declined to name which boys had been rescued. Narongsak says late in the evening that the rescue mission will not start again for at least another 10 hours to allow oxygen and other supplies to be replenished. Eight of the boys and their coach were still in the cave.
9 July Monday
In evening, another four members were rescued as the mission resumed successfully.
10 July Tuesday
After 18 days the final four boys and their coach were rescued from the cave alongside three Thai Navy SEALs and doctor who have stayed with them.
Last Updated 10:34 AM IST