“For the first time in history the entire world is rooting for the same football team.” This one sentence by Twitter user Ryan Knight just about sums up the outpouring of support for all those involved in the Thai cave rescue mission in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
On 23 June 2018, twelve boys aged between 11 and 17 and their 25-year-old assistant football coach found themselves trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand. They were discovered 9 days later by professional British divers in a ledge in the cave about 3km from the cave’s opening. The divers are part of a rescue mission looking for the boys – all members of a school football team, the Wild Boars, and their coach.
At time of writing, 6 boys have been rescued so far. This has been great news since one of the options discussed earlier included having to let the trapped victims stay in the cave until October, after the monsoon season. Carrying out the rescue mission during this time would have proven dangerous due to the rising water levels contributed by heavy rain. However, the rescue group that includes more than 1,000 personnel, and even volunteers sent by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, had a lucky break during a clear day on Sunday morning, 8 July 2018 and managed to rescue the first two groups of boys. Elon Musk is sending over a mini-submarine that may assist the divers in bringing out the boys through the flooded caves.
Simulating maneuvering through a narrow passage pic.twitter.com/2z01Ut3vxJ
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2018
International Footballers Showing Support
In the meantime, the messages left online for the boys and the coach have mostly been very supportive. Many call for prayers for their safe rescue. Most messages show support and positive thoughts for their families as well as for rescuers. These include messages from celebrities and famous footballers – all who just want the kids and their coach to be rescued safe and sound.
Former Real Madrid striker and Brazilian soccer legend, Ronaldo, told reporters at a FIFA event that he “hopes someone can find a way to take the kids out of there.”
Meanwhile, Leicester City star, Austrian Christian Fuchs sent his message via video. “I wish everybody all the best with their rescue efforts and I’m sure everything will be turning out well. Be strong.” Leicester City is owned by King Power International Group, based in Bangkok, so they have quite strong ties to Thailand. Fuchs also mentions that he is closely following the rescue efforts of the 12 players and their coach.
Manager of Liverpool FV, Jurgen Klopp tells the boys that “You’ll never walk alone,” which is the English club’s motto, adding, “Stay strong and know we are with you.”
England player John Stones also offers messages of support and prayers for their safety in a video on BBC. In the video, the defender says, “It’s so sad to see where they are and we hope they get out safe and sound.” You can see the whole video here.
Hollywood Stars Pray For A Safe Rescue
Hollywood actress Viola Davis shares her message of hope with a beautiful drawing.
Actor Michael Raymond-James, who plays Neal Cassidy in Once Upon A Time, also shares his prayers.
Chris Roy Taylor, an illustrator for Australian daily Herald Sun, drew a touching cartoon, commenting on how the whole world is rooting for the Wild Boars boys and coach Ekapol Chantawong.
And as an incentive for the twelve Thai boys and their coach, perhaps to lift up their spirits and give them something to look forward to, the President of the international football governing association, FIFA, has invited the team to attend the FIFA World Cup 2018 finals match in Moscow. No doubt that this is certainly something that the boys will be excited to do once out of the cave.
Our prayers and thoughts are with the boys and coach Ekapol, and wish nothing but safety and good spirits for them and the team of international rescuers involved in the Thai cave rescue mission.