‘We dug for our lives’: How Thai cave boys had to scramble to safety | World | News

0
3


Duangpetch Promthep, nicknamed Dom, revealed the extraordinary difficulty of their 18-day ordeal after they became stranded deep underground on June 23.

He explained that the ledge had been so small not all of the group – 12 boys and their football coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, 25 – had been able to sit down at the same time.

As a result, they had to take turns standing up, surviving by licking rain water from the roof of the cave.

Dom, whose 13th birthday arrived during his time trapped in the cave, was one of those who penned a letter to his parents urging them not to worry.

His story was related by relieved father Banpote Kornkham, who explained that the boys had only intended to spend an hour exploring the caves when they found themselves trapped.

Mr Kornkham, 45, a shopkeeper, said: “They had turned back but when they got to the junction they found they were trapped by rising water. 

“And there was a kind of sand dune blocking the tunnel.

“So they had to use their hands to dig out the mud and sand so they could go further inside the cave to get to higher ground. This is where they left their shoes and their bags.

‘It was very dangerous because the water was rising around them. But the coach told them they dig out the tunnel to survive.

“Dom said they had to wade through the water. They kept going until the found higher ground.”

The boys – all members of a junior football team called the Wild Boars – had been in the cave many times before so they knew they could find higher ground above the flood water.

Eventually they managed to move to the ledge, where they were found a week later by British divers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton.

Mr Kornkham added: “Dom told us how they found a high area. He said it was like a small hill made of clay.

“The coach told them they had to climb up. And that is where they stayed.

“It is a small patch of earth which would get smaller when the water rose and get bigger when the water receded.

“Sometimes there was not enough room for all of the boys to sit down. So they had to take it turns to sit while the others stood up.”

During the course of their gruelling experience, Mr Chantawong had kept the children calm and offered reassurance, with the youngest, Chanin Wiboonrungrueng, known as Titan, suffering particularly.

Mr Kornkham added: “The coach was very good. He kept all the children calm and reassured them. Some of the boys got very scared but they tried to support each other.”

“They had about six torch-lights with them. But the coach made sure they only used them sparingly so the batteries would last.

“It is a miracle that all of the children got out of the cave safely. Now they are getting better and better.

“We are completely overjoyed. It is the best possible outcome for the boys.

“Dom says he wants a new phone because his old one fell into the water in the cave.

“He wants a Samsung smartphone like his older brother.”



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here