Thai res­cue site to be­come mu­seum

Film in works

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

MAE SAI, Thailand, July 12, (Agen­cies): Res­cuers who pulled a young Thai foot­ball team from deep in­side a flooded cave were dis­man­tling their work­site Thurs­day, as plans emerged to turn the spot into a mu­seum in trib­ute to the dar­ing op­er­a­tion.

At least one film pro­duc­tion house was al­ready work­ing on a scheme to make a Hol­ly­wood treat­ment out of the hero­ics of divers, cavers and medics who risked their lives to free the “Wild Boars”.

Stun­ning footage of that res­cue was re­leased Wednes­day show­ing the young­sters — aged 11 to 16 — be­ing stretchered to safety.

They were also seen sit­ting cheer­fully in their hos­pi­tal beds, where they are be­ing kept in iso­la­tion un­til doc­tors are sure they did not pick up any nasty dis­eases dur­ing more than two weeks in the dark.

Work­ers were Thurs­day pack­ing up the in­dus­trial wa­ter pumps, heavy-grade ma­chin­ery and con­struc­tion equip­ment at the mouth of the Tham Luang cave, which had been a high-tech com­mand cen­tre dur­ing the 18-day or­deal.

Res­cue chief Narongsak Osot­tanakorn told re­porters the site would ul­ti­mately be con­verted into a mu­seum show­cas­ing the clothes and equip­ment used dur­ing the dra­matic res­cue.



The res­cue of the “Wild Boars” team was still be­ing cel­e­brated in Thailand as the 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach re­cov­ered in a lo­cal hos­pi­tal.

The Na­tion news­pa­per called the op­er­a­tion a “Tri­umph of global co­op­er­a­tion” on its front page Thurs­day while the Bangkok Post pub­lished a col­lage of images of those in­volved un­der the head­ing “You Are He­roes.”

The saga started on June 23 when the play­ers walked into the Tham Luang cave com­plex af­ter foot­ball prac­tice and were trapped when mon­soon flood­ing blocked their exit.

Nine days later British divers found the di­shev­elled and hun­gry group perched on a ledge 4 kms (2.5 miles) in­side the cave.

Over the fol­low­ing week, ex­perts from around the world de­scended on north­ern Thailand and res­cuers pumped out more than 50 Olympic­sized swim­ming pools-worth of wa­ter.

A huge me­dia pack of more than 1,000 jour­nal­ists gath­ered at the mouth of the cave feed­ing au­di­ences all over the globe with ev­ery twist and turn of the dra­matic res­cue un­til its joy­ful con­clu­sion on Tues­day. The huge in­ter­na­tional in­ter­est in the story sparked im­me­di­ate talk of books and films.

Michael Scott, the man­ag­ing part­ner of faith-based pro­duc­tion house Pure Flix, said the com­pany in­tends to pur­sue a film about the again­st­the-odds mis­sion.

Scott, who lives in Thailand and went to the site in Chi­ang Rai as the boys were be­ing pulled to safety, made the an­nounce­ment late Tues­day on Twit­ter in a video.

“We’re here re­ally look­ing at this as a movie that could in­spire mil­lions of peo­ple across the globe,” Scott said.

Mean­while, the head of a Thai navy SEAL div­ing team that helped lead 12 boys and their soc­cer coach through a flooded cave com­plex to safety urged the boys on Thurs­day to “make the most” of their lives and be a force for good.

“Make the most of your lives. Be good peo­ple, be a force for good for your coun­try,” Rear Ad­mi­ral Apakorn Yuukongkaew, com­man­der of Thailand’s navy SEALS unit, said in a mes­sage to the boys be­fore board­ing a flight from Chi­ang Rai.

“Hooyah!” Apakorn shouted be­fore fly­ing out, us­ing a morale-build­ing navy term.


Footage re­leased by the SEALs showed parts of the res­cue op­er­a­tion that cap­ti­vated the world.

The boys were held close to the divers and re­mained mo­tion­less for parts of the jour­ney where they had to dive. They were then car­ried on stretch­ers through dry parts to the cave’s en­trance.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Prawit Wong­suwan said on Wednes­day the op­er­a­tion was noth­ing short of a miracle.

Fam­i­lies of the 12 boys have been al­lowed to visit them.

A state­ment from Thailand’s pub­lic health min­istry on Thurs­day said two boys from the first group res­cued on Sun­day who were di­ag­nosed with a lung in­fec­tion were re­cov­er­ing well. Three boys from the last group saved have ear in­fec­tions.

The boys’ fam­i­lies can visit them wear­ing pro­tec­tive gowns and masks, it added.

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