After an extraordinary rescue mission, the players of a soccer team and their coach who became trapped in a flooded Thailand cave are on the road to recovery

By Stephanie Petit
July 11, 2018 08:25 AM

After an extraordinary rescue mission, the 12 players of a youth soccer team and their adult coach who became trapped in a flooded Thailand cave are on the road to recovery.

Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, an inspector for Thailand’s health department, gave reporters an update on the boys’ health on Wednesday.

“From our assessment, they are in good condition and not stressed,” he said, according to Reuters. “The children were well taken care of in the cave.”

He added praise for their 25-year-old coach, Ekkapol Ake Chantawong, for taking “care of the footballers very well,” according to CNN.

Lertwilairattanapong said the children, ranging in age from 11 to 16, had lost an average of 2 kg (4.4 lbs.) during the ordeal but hadn’t lost their appetite — according to CNN, the Wild Boars players were asking for chocolate spread on bread on Tuesday. However, they’ll be provided with a food similar to milk to provide protein and nutrients, the outlet reported.

Cave search continues for members of football team missing in northern Thailand, Chiang Rai - 26 Jun 2018

He also revealed three members of the group were being treated for minor lung infections.

The 13 will be quarantined for up to a week due to high risk of infection, Today reported.

“They have scratches, fever, and signs of hypothermia, but overall they’re in remarkably good health,” the outlet said on Tuesday, adding that parents will be able to see their kids while they’re in quarantine, but not touch them.

Credit: Thai NavySEAL Facebook
Credit: Linh Pham/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the boys, who could not swim, were given anti-anxiety medication ahead of the rescue out of the cave, which would require an hours-long trek and swim through the murky water.

“Like us, we take antihistamines to make us feel well, not excited, not writhe, not taking the mask out,” the prime minister said, according to the Associated Press. “It’s called Anxiolytic — something to make them not excited, not stressed.”

Cave Search, Mae Sai, Thailand - 02 Jul 2018
Credit: AP/REX/Shutterstock

It had been more than two weeks since the members of the Wild Boars soccer team were stranded before they were all safely out of the cave. They had been exploring the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex in northern Thailand on June 23 when heavy rains and rising floodwaters blocked the team’s path, leaving the group unable to get out.

However, it was a close call for the four Thai Navy Seals who were inside the cave during the rescue operation. Military sources involved in the mission told ABC News that the main pump that had been drawing water out of the cave failed shortly after the final extraction.