“Wild Boars is finally going home!” — that was mu Space Corp CEO and founder James Yenbamroong’s reaction as he witnessed the final mission to rescue the remaining four teenage players of the football team Wild Boars and their coach who were trapped in Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai, a province in the northern part of Thailand.
The last person was rescued at 7:00 p.m. local time Tuesday. “Many people have been waiting for this day for a long time,” James said. “We’re glad to see them out safe and thrilled that they’re finally going home.”
Last Saturday, Thailand-based satellite and space company mu Space had sent five of the firm's staff engineers to assist in the rescue mission of 12 football players, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach who were stranded inside Tham Luang cave. On June 23, the football team had gone exploring in the cave after a practice game and were reported missing following a heavy downpour. They were found alive by search teams only after over a week of being stranded without food and clean water.
News of the discovery sparked jubilation across Thailand, but that news was cut short by news that the football team couldn’t exit that location due to the cave being flooded.
“When we heard the news that they were still trapped after two weeks, we quickly assembled a team of engineers to arrive in the area to give support to the rescuers,” said James. “We collaborated with several private companies and universities who wanted to help in the rescue. Google provided useful data and Weather Decision Technologies aided the rescuers with weather forecast models. U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer SpaceX, who also offered support, contacted us to help them connect to the Thai government.”
The final rescue mission on Tuesday brought an end to an 18-day long ordeal.
“The Thai Navy SEALs, divers, water pumping and drilling teams, professional climbers, and K9 units played a big role in the search and rescue of the 12 boys and their football coach,” said James, adding that “foreign individuals and teams from Australia, Belgium, China, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Sweden, UK and USA also extended support to operations.”
Confirming the completion of the rescue operation, the Thai Navy SEALs on their Facebook page posted: "We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the 13 Wild Boars are now out of the cave.”
Meanwhile, the eight boys rescued earlier on Sunday and Monday are being treated in a hospital in Chiang Rai.
“Finally, they’re out of the cave and going home. We wish the 12 brave boys and their coach a speedy recovery,” concluded James.