Out of hospital, boys recount moment they were found
CHIANG RAI, Thailand
Trapped in the recesses of a flooded cave in northern Thailand, the 12 boys and their soccer coach were trying to dig their way out when they heard voices in the darkness. Their coach quickly told everyone to be quiet.
“We weren’t sure if it was for real,” said 14-year-old Adul Samon. “So we stopped and listened. And it turned out to be true. I was shocked.”
That stunning moment when two British divers found the missing soccer team was recounted by the boys Wednesday at their first news conference since the rescue that riveted the world.
The group, looking healthy after recuperating at a hospital, entered to applause from reporters and classmates and put on a quick demonstration of their ball-handling skills on a miniature soccer field set up in the hall where they met journalists from around the world.
The boys – dressed in green and white uniforms with a red wild boar, their team’s nickname – then hugged their friends before taking seats up front with doctors and members of the Thai navy SEAL unit that helped rescue them. Others who helped them during their ordeal, which ended after more than two weeks when they were brought out of the cave last week, were also there.
In one poignant and emotional moment, a portrait was displayed of Saman Gunan, the former Thai navy SEAL diver who died in the rescue attempt, and the team members showed their gratitude and respect for him. One of the boys, Chanin Vibulrungruang, covered his eyes as if wiping away a tear.