Thai Cave Rescue Mission: A Day-by-Day Timeline
The search and rescue portion of the mission to save 12 young boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand is over, as authorities brought the final team members out on Tuesday.
All of the missing people were brought out alive, though officials have not commented on the health of the extracted children and the 25-year old, but the recovery alone is being called a miracle, given the length of time the team was missing and the harrowing conditions surrounding their rescue.
Friends and family kept vigil around the cave throughout the effort and the world was captivated by their plight. Among the onlookers was Elon Musk, who volunteered the services of his company, delivering equipment to the site, though officials ultimately declined to use it.
Here’s a timeline of efforts to locate, then rescue, the team.
June 23—12 members of Wild Boar soccer team (aged 11-16) go missing, along with their coach, in a cave complex in northern Thailand after a flash flood.
June 24—Rescuers are forced to suspend the search due to rising waters, despite having found evidence of the team nearly two miles inside the cave.
June 25—Pumps installed to remove water after Thai Royal Navy SEAL divers find hand prints on the cave’s wall, seemingly of the team.
June 27—Search widens. Roughly 1,000 army and navy personnel, along with volunteers, join the search. International involvement expands, as the U.S. military arrives to help.
June 30 – Rains ease enough for divers to make their way further into the cave, but still fail to find the children.
July 2—British divers find the boys, who are still alive. They were standing on a shelf above the waters some 2.5 miles inside the cave.
July 3—Thai SEALs deliver blankets, food, water and medical aid to the team. Officials begin formulating a plan to retrieve the team.
July 5—Elon Musk tweets he would be “happy to help if there is a way to do so.”
July 6—Musk announces he will send a team of engineers to Thailand to assist in the rescue efforts. That same day, Saman Gunan, a Thai Navy SEAL, dies when his oxygen runs out as he’s underwater in the caves.
Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, invites the team and their coach to the World Cup finals, if they’re rescued in time and healthy enough to attend.
July 7—Musk proposes using a “tiny, kid-sized submarine” made from one of his orbital rockets. Construction of the sub is completed in eight hours.
July 8—Rescuers enter the cave and emerge with four boys 11 hours later.
July 9—Four more boys are rescued after a nine-hour effort.
July 10—The remaining four boys and the coach are retrieved from the cave. A doctor and a handful of divers are still working their way out as of 9:30am ET, so there’s still some danger for rescuers.