‘Still Can’t Believe It Worked’: The Story of the Thailand Cave Rescue

It took plastic cocoons and anti-anxiety pills, bravery and providence to save the soccer team. “So many things could have gone wrong,” said one official.


Comments: 189

  1. I spent two summers working at Mammoth Cave. On tours, we would turn out all the lights for a minute or two. The darkness is overwhelming. Some people would hyperventilate in seconds and beg us to turn the lights back on. It is one thing to be without food for that much time. That is hard. There was water. How they survived the darkness without losing their minds is something I find incredible. That coach keep his team together. They survived. it was a great world effort to save something instead of making war and destroying something. It makes you proud to be a human being. I wish we could all work together like that, especially the Americans and the Chinese. I hope lasting friendships were made and those friendships will continue, so we can do more good things together.

  2. You're right: there is so much misery. Humans, even if they get along still brutalize all other life forms on this planet. It is way past time to address how we are going wrong and ignoring the enormous suffering for our pleasure.

  3. I, too, have had the experience of total darkness underground in an abandoned coal mine (now a museum) in Nova Scotia. I also wondered how the Wild Boars could
    have endured 10 days without light. The article states that the boys entered the cave with flashlights so they may have been able to ration whatever light they had left. I
    read somewhere that their light was failing when they were found.

    Thanks to the NYT for this excellent article. It is exactly the explanation I was looking for!

  4. Agreed. This is true international cooperation.

  5. No doubt there will be a movie about this some day. This captured the imagination of the entire world and rightfully so. Whenever I heard about it or read anything about it, it brought tears to my eyes. Just imagining what was going on in the minds of those young boys. So happy it all turned out for the best.

  6. Yes, although I'd love it to be a documentary with actual footage interspersed with interviews of the boys and rescuers and local villagers. I like seeing the real people engaged in the event.

  7. I hope not!!! We don't need merchandizing of this event!

  8. Quite the most amazing display of courage, ingenuity, skill and faith. I am in awe of these extraordinary brave people. They have demonstrated the qualities of mankind at its very best. We will people like this to navigate and lead us throughe the very dangerous and uncertain future we have created for ourselves.

  9. I have been so moved, as well as brought to tears, by this incredible rescue story of tragedy, hope, heroic effort, joy and a happy ending amid so many great challenges. Given how deep into the vast cave system the boys and coach had retreated, I am still amazed they were found at all.

  10. This is a very excellent article. Thank you and all the amazing people involved in such heroic efforts.

  11. These rescuers and their many helpers showed what is possible in the face of nearly overwhelming odds. They saved far more than 12 children and one coach, they helped save our faith in human goodness.

  12. Beautifully said, M.

  13. What an amazing example of what humanity can achieve when they set aside their petty differences to work together towards a common goal. I am in awe of the bravery and heroism of all the rescuers who risked their lives to find and rescue those boys, the Thai military who often slept on muddy ground without tents as they assisted the rescue effort, the local Thai people who - valuing the boys more highly than their means of income - sacrificed the rice fields they depend on to the water being pumped out of the cave, the international volunteers who flew in from around the world at their own expense to help in the effort, the locals who fed the rescuers, the media who brought attention to the situation, and all the people around the world who anguished and prayed, adopting those boys as though they were their very own in complete disregard of their race, color, and whatever other superficial differences exist between us. The world would be so much more beautiful if this was how we worked together every day!

  14. I am just so happy at the successful outcome and the amazing united efforts given by everyone (the Thai SEALs, the British divers, the American team, etc...) to save these 12 boys and their coach.

    How hopeful to see that such value was given to LIFE regardless of race and class. My heart and eyes swelled whilst reading this great reporting. Kudos to all.

  15. In this year of so much toxic masculinity it was truly awesome to see these men act with so much courage, tenderness, humility, and ingenuity. And to see these boys and their coach act with faith, love and friendship for each other. All the thousands of volunteers, men and women. And the diver who gave his life, the ultimate in generosity of spirit and love for his fellow humans. I think that young man in the cave who spoke English, with no nation-state to call his own but speaking all the languages, is the future!

  16. I truly hope he and the young coach, and the other "stateless" boys are helped in some meaningful way, by the good feelings around this rescue.

  17. In a world of meaningless YouTube and reality show celebrities, this is a celebration of something that is sorely lacking today; skill.

  18. When this all began, I was reminded of Plato's cave allegory, where those who live in the darkness of the cave, turned away from the light, are loath to believe there is light or anything beyond the cave and what they know.

    It seemed beautifully symbolic that in these very dark times of lies, selfishness and "fake news," that the extraordinary mental, physical and spiritual bravery of these boys and their rescuers shined like a beacon, revealing the true power of grace, goodness and light.

  19. Congratulations to all who were in the successful search and rescue of people who needed timely help to save their lives and restore their health.

    Success was not the result of "thoughts and prayers" but from knowledge, science, engineering, experience, and organization of resources to solve problems urgently because the window of time was closing quickly.

    It required personal bravery and willingness to put the safety of others above personal safety, the essence of "heroism."

    Would a financial analysis of the cost of the rescue show that someone else should not need to pay for others' follies? Or that people who expose themselves to harm through risky behaviors should pay a price for their actions and errors in judgement?

    Everyday, people have accidents, unplanned illnesses, and injuries that require knowledge, science, engineering, experience, and organization of resources to solve, and lack of appropriate and timely treatment causes death and disability. It always costs someone money to prevent loss of human life and disability. In our country the cost of human life is calculated in dollars. People without access to insurance paid healthcare pay with their suffering, disability, and lives. Their families and communities pay as well.

    Organized resources to meet human problems should not be left solely to those whose only motivation is "quarterly earnings," "bottom line," or "profit."
    Employer based health insurance is a failure. The answer is Medicare for all.

  20. Why does someone always look for an angle to criticize people who have faith and believe in prayer? Maybe it doesn't help, but it certainly doesn't hurt anything. And many people with knowledge of science and engineering skills have some kind of faith (whether Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, whatever). Faith and intelligence are not mutually exclusive.

  21. No, it doesn't hurt anyone, but it confuses people who don't understand or know anything about science or technology. They are often left thinking that magic thinking will fix whatever needs fixing. A deadly belief.

  22. This beautiful, inspiring story, happening amid a reawakening of totalitarianism, reveals something new to the American sensibility - suppression of information without apology. All the stories about this rescue, between the lines, have written into them the journalist's doing their best job with limited transparency. Yes there was a need to keep the rescue arena clear. But deeper than that, there are the things that were not said, the information that did not escape, the controlled timing of information, the eerie sameness of reporting even from diverse sources. We are going to see more and more of this as time goes on in this brave new world. The dynamic tension between security and freedom has settled on the side of security, at the cost of liberty, and the silence around how this story was so tightly controlled is telling of how far we have fallen from the bright open window looking out onto that potential golden age of democratic freedom, the one we almost found a doorway into before we were pulled back by the ankles into the locked room. So glad these boys are free, and wishing that we - including the military dictator-controlled country they live in - were free too.

  23. Most rescue operations have limited media operations while the rescue is taking place. The exceptions are disasters in public places (9/11, etc, rescuing Jessica from the well, etc). It wouldn't do anyone any good for a minute by minute analysis of what's taking place a mile deep into a cave. I wouldn't want them to spew information for the public, as the focus should be, and was on the actual rescue. This isn't a facebook video scenario, it's a serious rescue with many lives at stake.

  24. Anne is correct. Also there was the very real prospect that the rescue mission might fail.

  25. Thailand is not a dictatorship.

  26. nothing but good can come of this.
    nothing but faith in humanity
    nothing but love of another
    nothing but the urgency of living a generous and full life.

  27. That sounds like a blessing for us all.

    Nothing but good can come of this!

  28. My question is how did they get so deep into the cave in the first place? Sure, it was dry when they went in, but it looks like a daunting scramble anyway. They were not properly equipped for such a trip, but they obviously had confidence in their ability to find their way out.

  29. I think the reason they were so deep in the cave is the rising waters forced them in deeper. How far in they had voluntarily gone is good question that hopefully their coach will answer.

  30. It was wonderful to see and hear about people working together for a good cause: rescuing some boys and a coach who were in trouble. Now, if only our governments could learn to do the same thing. It's commonly called cooperation.

  31. What impressed me most, is that there seems to have been no display of hysterics on the part of the boys. On the contrary, they showed great calm, courage and patience.

  32. Agreed. The young assistant coach Ekkapol Chantawong, who taught them to meditate, can certainly take a lot of credit for their positive state of mind.

  33. This is true heroism. I am in awe of the 10,000 people who helped, the volunteers from around the world, and the sheer bravery and fortitude of the rescuers. And the boys… to survive for weeks in the dark, sipping on rainwater - what wonderful, resilient, heroic young men. I tear up every time I read about this. I hope that there are counselors available for the boys and the rescuers after such a horrifying ordeal.

  34. Unimaginable bravery; the very best of humanity.

  35. I was once in an underground tunnel connecting a WW II bunker, when the guide turned off the lights. You cannot imagine the utter blackness with *no*ambient light from the stars, moon, distant streetlights, or even your tech equipment. After just a couple of minutes, it was intolerable. Now imagine being lost, cold, hungry... for more than a week in utter darkness. These boys and their coach are tremendous survivors.

  36. Kudos to the seals and military for the operation and for the bravery of the boys....too all the unsung civilians who contributed to the rescue I hope if something like this happened in the states, our navy seals would be up to it and we would prevent the press of making it into a three ring circus spectacle.

  37. Khxbkhun. Thai for thank you.

    I am an American who does not know the Thai language. But I needed to be able to say thank you to the leaders of Thailand for this rescue mission that touched all humanity.

    Thirteen individuals will lead a life that the outcome was so unknown. Thank you to all 10,000 involved, all the countries around the world. We honor the diver who gave his life.

    This is the story of my summer, my century, my life. I will always remember this humane event. No one will ever be forgotten.

    What can I say? Khxbkhun.

  38. Buddha works in mysterious ways.

  39. My enduring and unanswered question revived by the stories concerning the fate of some of these young men as well as the children from Central America separated from their families is what state do "stateless" juveniles/young adults belong to? (The protocol should have been set in the case of the Jewish children from Europe harbored in England during the WWII years.)What about the DACA kids -- when will Congress decide to IMO do the right thing and grant them citizenship. (If they had been born here, they would have that status.) and in the future???

  40. I truly hope that young boy and the young coach, and the other "stateless" boys are helped in some meaningful way, by the good feelings around this rescue.

  41. Amazing planning and execution. Sure there was some luck, but I think they made their own luck for the most part.

  42. This comment reminds me of Mark Twain's, "The harder I work, the luckier I get."

  43. Incredible rescue. Congratulations to all is in order.

  44. It bears repeating that Trump was among the first to volunteer to help rescue the Thai soccer team. He would have risked his life to save those boys, only it was determined that he might not fit in the tightest passages. If he got stuck, he would block the only escape route, so that plan had to be abandoned, much to Trump's regret. It would only be a few days that he'd be stuck, of course, before he'd lose enough weight to get unstuck. But time was of the essence here. Why haven't you heard this story before? Trump is simply too modest to admit it.

  45. Brilliant satire!

  46. Brilliant. I think he would have raced in without a mask or tank too. It's in his DNA to put others first. The most selfless man ever.

  47. Given, as you point out, that "Tham Luang Cave is a rare place where a person can become completely isolated. There is no GPS, no Wi-Fi, no cellphone service" I am surprised that your article does not recognize the critical innovative communications contribution by an Israeli technology company that allowed the first responders to establish a communications network that worked in the cave system and supported their rescue efforts. Hopefully that omission was an oversight and nothing more sinister.

  48. Tragedy is the precursor Unity - Unity is the conclusion of Hope.

  49. The Thai Navy SEALS and the others who gave frelye of themselves are global heroes. So many countries helped in some way. Just shows what is possible when we work together toward a common, positive goal.

  50. Thank you to the rescue workers whose bravery and ingenuity inspired the world.

  51. This hopeful story demonstrates how we can work together as a global community, now if we can only rescue each other from nationalism, intolerance, poverty, war and greed that would truly be remarkable!

  52. When I read of Trump’s demagoguery at the Brussels NATO meeting, his belligerent anti-press put-down of Jim Acosta at a news conference in Britain, when I read how Trump criticized at a rally in Montana two old politicians who are sick, both war heroes, George Bush and John McCain, when I compare these sick antics (of hundreds I could have chosen from) of our American President to the courage, dare I say, nobility, of the rescue divers who saved the lives of the Thai soccer team, I can say with confidence and pride that Trump can’t measure up to them but that, in the end, it doesn’t matter, for there are millions and millions of people in the world just as brave and respecting of life as the Thai soccer teams’ rescuers.

  53. Thanks for politicizing an otherwise wonderful story. Realize that many, many of your fellow Americans support this President. Get. Over. It.

  54. Thank you for this reporting. It was amazing to read. So many challenges to overcome. And somehow they were saved. I needed to read this instead of all the bad stuff. I need to reaffirm my faith in humanity now and then in this crazy world.

  55. This is what can be accomplished when humanity works together for good, as opposed to the barrage of selfishness and greed that regularly appears in the leading headlines of the media. Sad that it takes a possible tragedy to bring the world together.

  56. Axel is great.... pack soul, I said darn Siri… Peroxy teen can you get that one right Siri? Well, I use it, and it helps with my worry about untoward people. Although the effects of that drug peroxotine do take a little time to take a effect, so I guess that’s what the days and weeks before the rescue were about. Good job! I wonder if they found any other skeletons down there or if this is going to happen anytime in the future soonly?

  57. Well, it sure affects your thought process and capability to write cohesively.

  58. Just a request - could you make it possible for us phone users to click the picture(s) of the diver's sketches so that we can pinch them bigger so we can actually see them? Some eyes are less able than others...
    (Thanks)

  59. ‘Still Can’t Believe It Worked’: The Story of the Thailand Cave Rescue

    This week in the times, this article about the 12 boys from a Thailand soccer team and their coach were finally rescued from the deep cave. I really liked this article because it showed how when people are in trouble, the whole world can come to help. In the article, it states that 10,000 people participated those of which including 200 divers and representatives from 100 government agencies. This article left me relieved after I had heard of the incident on the news and it also amazed me to see so many people come together to help someone when they needed it the most, no matter if they put themselves at risk. Unfortunately, one retired Thai Navy SEAL diver named Saman Gunan died while trying to rescue the boys when the air in their oxygen tanks ran low. Gunan can be labeled as a hero for dying while trying to help save other people.

  60. When people can be like this, why do we choose to be anything else?
    Just a stunning event, from the brave calm of the children to the almost unbelievable sacrifice and skill displayed by the international dive community.
    Jon Krakauer, get cracking on a non-fiction book!

  61. The bravery of the seals and divers from all over the world is a profound example of international humanity at its finest.
    Now let's find those kids separated from parents at our borders and return them to their parents!

  62. An amazing rescue!

  63. Amazing!

  64. I must say I was afraid to read the entire story of escape for fear of succumbing to my own fears. I would hope that humanity and all the world should just get together like this for something like global peace, and an instead of, to use a euphemism, the possibility of wasted youth… Like some raggedy punk rock bands’ name

  65. What else can you say but, "Incredible!"

  66. How about a followup story on how the boys are doing? Are they still in the hospital? When will they be able to go home?

  67. Every so often humans do something unambiguously good, and the NY times does good international reporting. Not sure how this happened in the first place, just one death (heroic) is pretty remarkable. The gods were apparently similarly transfixed.

  68. HEROES!

  69. Congratulations! Well done. Too bad the Trump incompetents didn't show the same drive and ingenuity when the people of Puerto Rico needed their help.

  70. I recommend that this cave be closed forever.

  71. I sure hope the cave isn’t closed permanently. The human drive to explore and seek the unknown is very strong and makes us who we are. Just because a plane crashes at an airport, we don’t permanently close the airport. Just because an explorer was never heard from again when entering an unknown land, doesn’t mean that no one should ever enter those lands.

    Yes, sometimes it claims lives. Yes, sometimes people need rescuing. Yet when we care and rescue others we show our best sides.

  72. Start with Yosemite, where climbers die everyday to reach its top.

  73. Pure genius! "Brilliant!"

  74. Time to close the cave off for the foreseeable future to children.

  75. WHY?

    Are you also for banning all cars due to the huge number of deaths from them?

  76. o, no, no, no. Time to think about what makes a rainy season come early. Climate change? This cave is perfectly fine for exploration when it is not the rainy season. You can't make the whole world safe, nor should you. But we should keep the world habitable; it's the only world we've got.

  77. A wonderfully written and diagramed article, but then typical of NY Times. Thank you

    dru

  78. One feels just awe. I do wish the press would give as much focused attention to the re-unification of migrant children and their families. A different kind of rescue, but rescue just the same.

  79. In order to save 12 lost boys, a rescue team was "assembled from...around the world: 10,000 people participated, including 2,000 soldiers, 200 divers and representatives from 100 government agencies." How many people are currently working on saving the 2,000 (or is it 10,000?) migrant children currently "lost" to the intentionally cruel US government separation policy?

  80. Exactly. The comparison is absurd.Can we leave the politics out of this great story\??and because it is the NYT I promise not to invoke providence in front of you. I'm off to the monastery to say my prayers-
    sorry if that is offensive.

  81. Many of the separated families came to the US via ports of entry, as per US law. An indiscriminate and cruel improvised policy superseded US law. The fault is not with the refugees. Now back to the rescued boys...

  82. Well American priorities.

  83. This is definitely a very interesting article. It is a true miracle that the SEAL team successfully rescued these soccer boys out of the cave. There were so many things that could've gone wrong and yet the rescuers and rescuees remain calm and had hope of completing this mission. The boys also showed great calm, courage and patience for being put in the situation they were in. What I still don't understand though is how they got so far in the caves without realizing that they were in danger. They had been in these caves before so you would think they would realize that they were in more danger than the last times. The main thing though is that everyone got out safely. I am very relieved that everyone was okay throughout these fearful days.

  84. Having been in the caves myself in the dry season, it seems very plausible, in the rainy season, that after entering the caves (they are a common tourist attraction as well as a right of passage for many young northern Thai children), a torrential downpour would lead very quickly to flooding within the caves. The last paragraph of this article suggests that water (whether from heavy rain or a burst pump) flowing into the cave can quickly lead to unmanageable water levels. These kids could not swim, and so their instincts were to run away from the water (i.e., deeper into the caves toward higher ground) rather than towards it (i.e., toward the cave opening). I'm sure they knew they were in danger, but if you can't swim, you have no choice but to run away from rising water.

  85. Early on, a reputable news outlet reported that it was a rite of passage for boys to enter the cave, leave their names on a wall, and then leave. The coach had brought in boys before to do this. Leaving their cleats and backpacks behind indicate they hadn't planned on being inside very long--although they did bring snacks. That, coupled with the explanation above about outrunning the water, probably led to this near-disaster.

  86. What a beautiful demonstration of skill, kindness and loving. I am in awe of those who risk their own lives to make a celebration possible. Carolyn Shawgo, M.S.

  87. What a beautiful story of skill, imagination, determination, and the unselfish desire to serve. Hundreds of people, from different backgrounds, social status, and abilities, worked together for a solution to a problem. We desperately need this spirit in our current climate of bitterness and hate.

  88. This entire rescue is testimony to the notion that there really isn't a problem out there that we as a species can't solve if we use our brains, work cooperatively and respectfully, and engage our imaginations. Would that we could motivate ourselves to make better use of our faculties on a more regular and sustained basis.

  89. With all due respect to this well-reported heartwarming story, the plight of desperately endangered multitudes of Rohingya and Yemeni would seem to deserve equal and timely coverage.

    But then, they’re not trapped in caves...

  90. I understand what you're saying, but we could "cherry pick" other groups of kids from all over the world all day long. Let's just appreciate this moment!

    I truly hope he and the young coach, and the other "stateless" boys are helped in some meaningful way, by the good feelings around this rescue.

  91. A truly courageous effort, with miraculous results. Everyone involved are heroes. Would just love to know why the boys ventured so far into the cave to begin with. And I'm sure their parents do too!

  92. They clearly stated they were outrunning the unexpected flooding.

    They had been in the cave other times; it is apparently a popular place for kids to go.

  93. ...............and didn't the article say there were signs at the entrance saying that they should not enter in the rainy season.

    I am happy it worked out although one person did die.

    I think someone was very irresponsible to enter the cave to begin with.

  94. The selflessness and bravery are astonishing, but so too was their good luck. This so easily could have ended in complete catastrophe. I'm so very glad for the families of the boys.

  95. People are fundamentally good. This proves it and we need to remember this and it does not need to be politicized. Sometimes people do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. RIP the lost rescuer but his family shows and the world acknowledges that he is a hero. Something we need more of.


  96. Even though this story dominated much of the news cycle for the past week or two, I never tire of reading about the unprecedented amount of courage, determination, and heroic effects made by everyone involved. This story serves as a powerful reminder that good still exists in the world and total strangers are willing to put their own lives and safety ahead of their own.

    A sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who worked untold hours, days and weeks to help these boys and their coach. Most importantly, thank you to Saman Gunan for your gallant efforts. I love you guys.

  97. Incredible act on a global scale.
    Human nature at its best.
    Shouldn’t we Americans at least “try” to treat as many of the world’s children in ways similar when we encounter those moments?

  98. “The most important piece of the rescue was good luck,” said Maj. Gen. Chalongchai Chaiyakham, the deputy commander of the Third Army region, which helped the operation. “So many things could have gone wrong, but somehow we managed to get the boys out.”
    “I still can’t believe it worked,” he said.

    Such a refreshing display of humility and gratitude.

  99. This amazing rescue effort restores a bit of my faith in the goodness of humanity. It is a welcome relief from the constant grunge and hostility spewed out by our administration every day.

  100. Thanks for reporting these details, NYT. It's even clearer now just how difficult and heroic these rescues were.

  101. Such a great, well-written story. Thank you.

  102. As someone who is a certified diver, I am amazed at the bravery and planning that went into this rescue. I am also reminded of the danger of doing this type of thing when I think about the one diver who died during the rescue. These folks are professionals and it says a lot about the danger that even with the amazing amount of training there is still so much that one cannot account for.

    For another view of deep cave diving listen to this clip from TAL: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/515/good-guys/act-three

  103. I never even knew there were cave divers.

  104. This is an incredible story! So much went into saving each child, and all the helpers had an important role to play!

    It took a great deal of courage on everyone's part to come up with a plan and bring it to fruition!

    As the Brits say, "Brilliant!"

  105. All of these beautiful people worked together to rescue these children, and millions I'm sure prayed to God almighty for their safe return. Thanks be to God.

  106. A story about success against all odds and contained in a report that represents the best in journalism.

  107. "Providence?" This does not belong in the NYT.

  108. I believe no one is asking you to believe. The news of this day includes the beliefs of people who are not you.

  109. Don't you just love heroic men and women sacrificing everything for nothing more than helping others? Don't you just wish we all had that kind of courage?

  110. It is amazing the rescue worked, however i would like for people to use their common sense and intelligence ot keep them form doing stupid, foolish and just plain nonsensical things that get them in trouble. The monsoon started several weeks prior and rains let up a day or so before their cave venture. An adult in charge of supervising kids and all being local and knowing of the possiblities during monsoon season should have stayed away from that cave. But listening to interviews of the local kids regarding past excusions into that cave, caution went out the window. that's when an intelligent adult supervising them needed to have stepped in and said, "No"!, "too dangerous this time of year". Cheers to the rescuers, but cheers even more when people stop acting like cats(curiosity killed the cat)" as they say and street smarts and intelligence prevails. Please, none of this baloney, "they're kids, they get into trouble", blah blah. A worn out excuse. Time to evolve, not remain stagnant primitive beings.

  111. guardian angels galore!

  112. MOST. According to the New York Times, the rescue of the 12 boys in Thailand and their soccer coach from a partially-submerged cave system took “an amalgam of muscle and brainpower from around the world: 10,000 people, including 2,000 soldiers, 200 divers and representatives from 100 government agencies.” All to reunite parents with their children. That’s how much family reunification matters. Or how much it should matter. To everyone.

    NOW. Let’s not lose the full scope of what happened in Thailand over the past two weeks. Along with an incredible rescue, Thai Navy Seal Samarn Poonan lost his life while diving to transport oxygen to the soccer team deep in the cave. It’s the ultimate sacrifice to give up one life for another; and while 12 families are being reunited this week, Poonan’s family is grieving. Or, maybe not. Death in exchange for life has meaning. And purpose. And will never be forgotten. In gratitude...

    Catch what matters on our high school blog that presents our views and opinions: https://www.catchhighschool.com/catchwhatmatters/

  113. It may have taken plastic cocoons and anti-anxiety pills and bravery, but I'm sorry, it did not take providence. Is it too much to ask for the New York Times not to attribute the rescue of this soccer team to the will of god?

  114. It wasn’t the will of god. Human error and humanity to come together for a solution.

  115. Prayer works. And every human prays, at one time or other.
    The Thai rescue effort was a very big deal, for all of us.
    I think God is telling us something: "You pray, I listen, I respond."
    Thanks be to God.

  116. Well except when it doesn't work, which is at least as often. Counting the hits and ignoring the misses = religious faith (a delusion shared with gambling addicts, who selectively remember when they win and minimize or forget how often they lose).

  117. "Divine Protection"
    Nonsense.

  118. If their faith strengthened them and made them all willing to risk their lives, who are we to challenge them?

  119. I was not aware that the existence of a deity was accepted as reportable news - on A1 - no less, of the NYT. Exactly who or what was the source relied upon by the reporters to cover the “providence” that contributed to the rescue?

  120. The article reported a local person's comment. That's different from asserting that a deity or divinity or any kind was actually involved.

  121. A+ reporting, proud to support it with my digital subscription; now on to the stranded children in this county, not by an act of God, but by a man who thinks he is! Sad.

  122. Wow. Just wow. All of our political differences are trivial in the big scheme of things.

  123. Pity you seemingly couldn't get confirmation from someone other than Prayuth of the use of anti-anxiety meds. It seems perfectly logical that they would have been used, but this is a military dictator with a track record for saying whatever's convenient at the time, so his word here, or anywhere else, is worth nothing.

  124. Please Hollywood (or Ken Burns); don't come-a-calling just yet. Let the world bask in the real glory a bit longer.
    This story doesn't need retelling.

  125. Stateless kids protected by the Buddha. There’s a message here from the Almighty.

  126. The coach can now take a course in Sign Reading 101.
    It's an amazing rescue story, necessitated by the coach's recklessness in disregarding a warning. A man died as a result.

  127. From what I read there was no sign to read. The cave was not closed for the season.

  128. ohdearwhatnow -- This wasn't a "mistake." It was a bad decision. One that cost a life, and that could have cost 13 more. I agree with Matt.

  129. My understanding is that he thought it was a meditative place to go. His mistake was not knowing the weather. And that he helped them to meditate and keep calm. We all make mistakes and he did his best to make the situation better. Cut him a break. He’s what, 24? What mistakes did you make at that age?

  130. The whole world watched and heald their beaths, every ticking minute. The last boys' coach is a true hero who kept his boys calm and hopeful in the worst possible situation. The rescuers, all of them heroes too, deserve our admiration, respect and gratitude for showing the world what can be achieved when everybody works together towards a common, good goal, nationality or religion notwithstanding.
    I propose that the cave be renamed after Samar Guman, who risked all and lost his life in pusuit of saving The Wild Boars.

  131. Yes!

  132. LEAST. In a country as divided as ours is right now, stories of nations uniting to achieve a common goal are as critical as ever. Still, in my neighborhood, Black people kill Black people. And we traffic each other. Sell drugs to one another. And do everything, sometimes it seems, to hold each other back. Why? If, for two weeks, the entire world can come together to save 12 innocent children in Thailand, it has to be possible for the 16 blocks that make up my ‘hood to let each other live and thrive and grow up to do something great. Like save some strangers in Thailand.

    Catch what matters on our high school blog that presents our views and opinions: https://www.catchhighschool.com/catchwhatmatters/

  133. A wonderful, thorough article!

  134. Thank you NYT for an in depth article on this, and gratitude to all of the courageous team-working, multinational rescuers.

  135. Great article.A feel good story that has lasting power. Bravo to the rescue team and the communities that rallied to support them. The coach did an amazing job keeping those boys alive. I hope we can continue to follow their stories once they go back to living their lives.

  136. I'm sure this is going to sound cynical, but this story is beginning to remind me of the "Baby Jessica" media circus 30 years ago.

    They got trapped. They got rescued. I'm glad. Now let's move on.

    With all of the truly important things happening right now, is this story really going to warrant front-page coverage for the next 3 months?

  137. This is the "final report" that many of us were awaiting, so I don't think you'll be bothered as much as that. However: This cooperative behavior is such a good example for all the world that yes, I think it should be celebrated for the rest of the year, at least.

  138. You want more stories about our incompetent, corrupt, lying thieving, conniving leadership???

  139. The ingenuity was extraordinary and I found this new piece fascinating. We'll move on, but let us bask a bit more in the loveliness of an international team working together to save some kids.

  140. This is such an uplifting story of courage, cooperation and determination leading to a successful rescue despite the incredible odds.

  141. As the days went by, the actions needed became more and more complex. It is an example of people planning and working together for a larger goal through intelligence, skill, and loving service to others. Would that we all remember their work as we face the present threats to our world.

  142. I disagree. Our journalists are among the best, as evidenced by this article and every article written about the atrocities being conducted right here in the USA.

  143. I seem to remember stories of great heroism and selflessness on a fateful September day in New York. We are a good, strong nation. Lazily painting the whole of our society with such broad brushstrokes undermines and dismisses the many deeply important, small, selfless acts most of us engage in on a daily basis. Building one another up, recognizing the good in others’ actions-this is where change begins.

  144. Yes but sadly we now have a failure of leadership.

  145. The reporting of this story is fantastic .
    I hope parents in Thailand , who have been scared to give their children swimming lessons out of fear of drowning , will use this near tragedy to teach their kids to swim - like the brave Navy Seals who are real heroes!

  146. I have a close associate who is Malaysian. He cannot swim. Nor can any of his family. His answer to our silly questions are as follow: No we do not swim because it is dangerous. There are things IN the water that can kill you! And no, we don’t “take strolls” in the jungle. “There are many things there that can kill you!” It is a different world there, and we Westerners cannot judge them for their decisions.

  147. Point taken, but every responsible parent needs to have their child "waterproof", yet many are too busy to fulfill this major parenting responsibility.

  148. The diagrams are great. They really show the extraordinary effort more than the maps or the videos. I also think the power of prayer - that is the prayers of the entire world - played a part in this miracle.

  149. This is why I LOVE The NY Times. This is an excellent, multi-media story well told. Viva legacy journalism/ists!

  150. As the previous comment says, this is an incredible story I read it over and over. Everyone (the divers) the Thai navy seal who lost his life. You were under water in a cave for 5 hrs plus. God bless you all!! Its amazing to look at those images of how that operation went . During this awful times where we fear our own kind, we still have some hope of a better tomorrow..

  151. I wonder if there is any way to make a donation to the family of the diver who lost his life trying to bring the young men to safety. What a hero!
    Thank you to everyone who participated.

  152. And how to make a donation to all the divers who risked their lives alongside the fallen diver. This was nothing short of spectacular.

  153. Hi,There was a commenter on Youtube who is from Thailand and cautioned there are many suspicious Go Fund Me type accounts that are taken down almost as soon as they are put up,so watch who you donate to dear lady and all the other readers.Maybe it would be wise to see if the King there has established a bona fide donation site.That's what I'm going to do.

  154. A huge "Thank You" to the New York Times for the wonderful reporting of this incredible story. One of my most cherished episodes is the one that tells the stories of the coach and the boy who was able to translate for the group, both of them "stateless" people. We need to remember this. These people are among the best, bravest, and most accomplished in the world. Thank you, NY Times.

  155. This, my friends, is what it means to be a man. There's a job to do. A job you cannot fail at even though failure seems the most likely outcome. A job you may be afraid to do. But you step up to the plate and do the job.

    There's no bragging about how great you are. There's no disrespect for women. There's no beating down of the already oppressed. There's no sucking up to enemies and picking on friends (are you listening, Donnie?) There is only doing what needs to be done.

    Come to think of it, this is what it means to be a woman as well.

  156. If you think women lack the bravery and determination to 'step up to the plate,' try giving birth, And then raising a child.

  157. Of 10,000 people who assisted, it is very likely that there were at least some women. It would be interesting to hear more of the facts. I did see a photograph of a U.S. military woman who was involved.

  158. And yet, women give birth and outlive men on average.
    Yep, the weaker sex for sure.

  159. what anti-anxiety meds were used?

  160. What an encouraging illustration of what humans can do when they cooperate toward a common goal. In our current poisonous political climate here in the U.S. of A., this is a wonderful piece of reporting. Thank you.

  161. Well written piece. It shows that people CAN work together in harmony when united in a common goal. I also appreciate the Thai take on things, avoiding blame-mongering. That fact is, bad stuff just happens. Now if this happened here...yes, the feel-good part would have happened. Then...you would see everyone lawyering up for the inevitable lawsuits. After all, we live in a country where there are MULTIPLE class action suits against Apple because of problematic keyboards. Hmmm. Maybe there is something to be learned here...

  162. I so agree with this. I have thought about the collectivist values of Thai culture, along with the Buddhist tradition, and marveled at this miracle. I doubt such a rescue could have been successful in the selfish US. Other Times articles have told the stories of some of the boys themselves, many of them stateless and without parents. You are so right that every family would be suing everyone from the poor coach to the rescuers.

  163. This event is so rich with analogies and examples for our woeful world today. A terrible calamity and misjudgment seems to have been the start of this event, but then what a reaction! The boys were literally reborn from the watery darkness deep in the earth. They were brought literally back to life by a team of men and women who gathered freely from around the world. The takeaway impressions for all of us seem to be competence, kindness, courage, focus, generosity and sacrifice. We all seem to agree, if humans can do this, why do anything else? For all these reasons, the rescuers should share the Nobel Peace Prize.

  164. Yes! Yes!

  165. Thank you, NYT, for an eye-opening explanation of this terrifying rescue. I couldn't picture it or understand the full dangers without this grafic and excellent reporting. Bless all those worked to save these boys and coach, including the lost Thai SEAL.

  166. I simply don't understand how those boys were able to get that far into the cave without drowning, assuming they were fleeing the rising waters. Something doesn't add up here.

  167. As I understand it, the monsoon rains hadn't yet started and the ground was dry. Once it started to rain, the boys found their route back to the entrance was blocked by standing, maybe rushing, water. So they retreated to higher ground, and continued to do so as the waters got higher.

  168. True bravery and courage shown by all involved. Reading this and fully realizing just how close they were to disaster at all times really got to me. What grit and determination everyone displayed!

  169. Spectacular rescue. I especially admire the humility of the rescuers in saying that they credit much of their success to luck, although I suspect that that's not true. Their incredible bravery and skill save those young boys and their coach. Hats off to all of them!

  170. Finally a comprehensive explanation of this ordeal- thanks NYT! We use the word "hero" far too loosely in the USA. This was monumental heroism and courage. There is none greater and it's gratifying to know that people around the world worked together as human beings first, nationalities unimportant.

  171. Many thanks to the New York Times for the excellent coverage of this most compelling story of courage and endurance! Bravo

  172. After recent mass shootings, I realized that it is so DIFFICULT to save a life and so EASY to take a life.
    Life is precious. Cheers to the heroes who saved these young lives!

  173. Thank you for a vivid portrait of selflessness and courage, an uplifting affirmation that we are one human family.

  174. These boys will carry this experience the rest of their lives. I wonder how this will impact the balance of their lives? Hopefully the experience will help give them strengh and peace during any future hard time realizing they survived what may have looked like certain desk.

    After 10 days of hunger and darkness with no sign of rescuers I expect I would conclude I was destined to die.

    Thanks to those who exhibited the competence, courage, physical strength and willingness to work together to save those young lives.

    It provides an inspiring example of what people can be.

  175. Thanks to the Times for the first demonstration I've seen of how difficult the route actually was. It took bravery on the part of everyone who was involved in the rescue, and if I believed in miracles, this would be one.

  176. Why can't I not read this story without weeping?

  177. I'm with Kaew and believe that cave to be magic.

  178. Great overview and detailed summary of the rescue! Bravo, New York Times reporters! This was worth my subscription.

  179. look what can be accomplished when people work together

  180. How, on the same planet, can we have people who risk everything, often anonymously, to save others, while our daily news is all about pop singers, child molesting politicians and billionaires with gold-plated toilet seats? Some of the proceeds from the inevitable James Cameron movie should go to the miracle workers who pulled this off.

  181. Fantastic rescue operation! Bravo!

    And a fantastic article. Thanks, NYT!

  182. What about the coach?

  183. He was also rescued. Last I think.

  184. As someone who leans to the right of center (non sequitur opening), what I appreciate and respect about the NYT is the maintenance of journalistic integrity and an general aversion to the need to "get the story out first." Better to get it right than fast.

    Back on topic, “'The most important piece of the rescue was good luck,' said Maj. Gen. Chalongchai Chaiyakham"... heroically modest, and yet so true. Here's to good fortune!

  185. What an awesome story. They're SO going to make a movie about this! Nice to finally see something positive in the news!

  186. The boys and their coach really entered in my heart and mind. Thank what ever God you worship but double thank for the skills of the rescuers. And double thanks for the boys and coach who had the guts to help not hinder the rescue in spite of anti anxiety pills given to them. They are all each in their way, a hero.

    This is all an inspiration to help us all to deal with the insanity now going on in the world and yes, I do mean trump. He tears kids and their families apart, Thailand fights to keep kids and their families together.