For the first time, the rescued soccer Thai boys who were trapped in a cave complex met with the media for a press briefing to share their struggle and how they survived their ordeal.
“We weren’t sure if it was for real. So we stopped and listened. And it turned out to be true. I was shocked,” said 14-year-old Adul Samon, referring to the very first time they heard the voices of their rescuers.
The football coach Ekapol Chantawong said in a CNN report that the boys merely wanted to see what was inside the cave, finally dismissing speculations that surfaced at the height of the rescue missions that the boys were being subjected to an initiation rites.
Chantawong, 25, said in the same report that they explored the tunnels for about an hour before deciding to get out. However, they realized that they were trapped as the cave’s entrance has become partially flooded.
“At his point, the realization dawned that they were trapped. With the entrance flooded and no obvious way out, the group retreated further into the cave to find somewhere to to rest for the night,” the CNN reported, adding that they had initially moved further in, about 200 meters.
They also began digging, in high hopes that they will find an exit. Still, the flood water kept on rising.
Without food, the boys survived by drinking from the water that dripped from the cave walls and stalactites. However, after two days, some of them began to feel weak.
“I tried not to think about food because it would make me hungry,” said 11-year-old Chanin “Titan” Wibrunrungrueang.
Wibrunrungrueang is the youngest of the rescued boys.
When the British divers found them, the boys were in disbelief and thought that it was a “miracle.” They initially did not know how to respond to their rescuers.
While they were very happy, the rescued boys also apologized to their families and to the Thai authorities for the troubles that they may have caused.
Earlier, they reportedly mourned the death of one of the Thai divers who volunteered to rescue them.