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The Wild Boars rescued!

The Wild Boars rescued!

With rescue operations underway in full swing in Thailand to save 12 boys and their soccer coach, the world watched in abated breath. Now, everyone is happy after the final push to free the four boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in the country's remote north, paid off. This is a dangerous terrain that necessitated the presence of several rescuers and divers from some leading Western countries. Eight of the boys were earlier taken out of the cave during the first two days of rescue operations, but five others remained trapped on a ledge four kilometres (2.5 miles) inside the cave system. The eight boys who had left the cave earlier were being treated in an isolation ward in a Chiang Rai hospital. But, the question that keeps nagging is why the football coach decided to take a dozen kids inside this difficult and dangerous cave? Before the World Cup fever could catch on in Russia, what was he trying to test and prove? Were endurance skills being tested? Whatever for? How would those have helped the boys emerge as hardcore professionals who would have tried qualifying for a future World Cup? True, they are football crazy in Thailand and even swear by the teams in the English Premier League. But, most of the world is just as football crazy. Questions would keep multiplying but the predicament that the victims were in would not have been possible had the authorities and parents not given their consent for the coach to go ahead. As matters stood, families had vowed to patiently wait at the cave entrance until all the boys and their coach, were taken out. Rescuers were racing to remove the remaining five members of the Wild Boar soccer team from the cave before the return of heavy monsoon rains. The final phase of the rescue operations demanded some of the most difficult diving in the world. After days of planning, the first four boys emerged. Each boy was accompanied underwater by two divers helping them navigate the dark through the murky water in the flooded tunnels. Each operation had taken at least nine hours. The most dangerous part of the journey out of the labyrinthine cave system was the first kilometre, during which they are required to squeeze through a narrow flooded channel. Rescuers needed to hold the boys' oxygen tanks in front of them and swim pencil-like through submerged holes. The boys were then handed over to separate specialist rescue teams, who assisted them through the remainder of the cave, much of which they could wade through. Four boys and their coach remained in the cave; the authorities took the five out in a single mission. But, by now, they have surely learnt a precious lesson – it is safer to conduct football training on a proper field.

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