Heroic true story behind Netflix documentary Thai cave rescue

The world was on tenterhooks during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia — but it was not because of the football.

In a story that gripped readers internationally, 12 boys and their football coach were trapped in caves in Thailand for more than two weeks.

It took a global rescue mission, spearheaded by expert divers, to free them from their ordeal.

The tale of heroics 3km underground was quick to attract the attention of film and TV producers, with Amazon Prime the first out of the blocks with its movie Thirteen Lives hitting the streaming service earlier this year.

Netflix have followed shortly behind, with dramatised mini-series Thai Cave Rescue landing on its platform on Thursday, September 22.

It is a story heralded for its bravery and heroism, including from British divers, but it is also laced with sadness.

What happened during the Thai cave rescue?

On June 12, 2018, a junior football team and their assistant coach visited the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai Province, northern Thailand, after a practice session.

But the 12 members of the team, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach Ekkaphon Kanthawong became trapped after heavy rainfall partially flooded the cave system, blocking their way out.

The weather conditions and rains were so bad that contact was not made with the youngsters for almost two weeks.

Above ground, an international operation had been co-ordinated, with 18 countries working together to save the football team, nicknamed the Wild Boars.

  • Viggo Mortensen's brush with death as oxygen tank cut out during deep diving scene

On July 2, after advancing through narrow passages and muddy waters, British divers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton found the group alive on an elevated rock about 1.5 miles from the cave mouth.

There was then a deliberation about best way to get the team out unscathed.

In the end, after days of pumping water from the cave system and a respite from rain, the rescue teams got all the boys up to ground level between July 8 and 10.

Despite their ordeal, the teammates were mainly found to be in good health, although two reportedly were diagnosed with pneumonia.

They had to be placed in a hospital quarantine afterwards as there was a fear they could easily develop infections.

How many survived the Thai cave rescue?

All 13 people who were trapped in the caves managed to be rescued and survived.

But sadly, a 37-year-old former Royal Thai Navy SEAL suffocated during an attempted rescue on July 6.

Saman Kunan had been returning to a base in the cave after delivering diving cylinders to the trapped group when he lost consciousness.

In December the following year, rescue diver and Thai Navy SEAL Beirut Pakbara died of a blood infection contracted during the operation

What is Netflix series Thai Cave Rescue about?

The six-episode limited series – created and written by Michael Russell Gunn and Dana Ledoux Miller – takes a close look at the deadly rescue mission.

Shot entirely in Thailand, with on-location filming at the real Tham Luang cave, Thai Cave Rescue revisits the harrowing experiences of Coach "Eak" and the 12 Wild Boars inside the cave and their lives on the outside.

The series features scenes shot at the boys’ real homes and some props are items from the actual events of 2018.


  • This Morning hit with 209 fresh Ofcom complaints after energy bill outrage
  • BBC National Lottery stars now – sudden death, Phillip Schofield feud and flashing fans
  • Piers Morgan's TalkTV show hit with over 100 Ofcom complaints after vegan bust-up
  • Queen's funeral watched by 28m viewers in UK – but more tuned in for Euro 2020 final
  • Piers Morgan slams 'ridiculous' petition to axe Holly and Phil as 25k sign over queue row

Source: Read Full Article