Thailand Miracle: Boys soccer team rescued and airlifted to safety

A trenching rain batters the dense tropical forest of Northern Thailand, a seasonal rain that streams downward. The resultant flash floods have filled the caves in the area, part of a rainy season that lasts through October.

Twelve boys and their 25-year-old coach find themselves trapped in one of these caves, 2.5 miles from the entrance.

RELATED: Boys trapped in flooded cave found alive after 9 days. Here's why they still haven't been rescued.

Inside the cave, it's dark, and cold, and the boys can hear the clamor of rain stomping onto the earth outside, can hear the slow creep of water inching upward. The boys hunch, cold in their red jerseys, each with a number over the upper left side. To remain calm, the boys meditate. Their coach trained in meditation as a Buddhist monk for a decade, went to live at a monastery when he was 12 after being orphaned.

The boys, ranging in age from 11 to 16 "and their coach are known to be a tight-knit group who go on adventures, including swimming in waterfalls, cycling trips through the mountains, river rafting and cave exploring." They survived for 10 days before they were discovered.

Imagine it. Two weeks in a cave. Muddy, clouded, dark water. The haunted green murk, the stalactite prowl, like tiny spires underwater. Perhaps it would be beautiful if it weren't a matter of life and death.

In the middle, a narrow, flooded passage, the winding, sharp fangs of the cave and the engulfing caverns, the rescue effort began Sunday. A former Thai Navy SEAL died last week setting up the escape route.

Monks in saffron robes and wooden slippers meditate over the boys, praying for health, for calm, for peace.

Seasonal rains have continually ravaged the dense jungles, relenting only long enough for a thick fog to drape over the area. A squad of more than 100 divers, in dark uniforms with tinges of the reflective ultraviolet yellow of safety gear, with bright yellow helmets and headlamps. The divers followed a thick yellow oxygen tube the width of a bumper.

At the mid-point, the divers had to climb a sharp, slippery jut of rock using full climbing gear.

Each boy had to wear scuba gear, with breathing tanks, as they swam through the curvatures of the dark, cavernous waters, through cramped chambers and spiked passageways, one of which was a mere two feet in height, too narrow for scuba tanks. Each boy was escorted by two divers.

The boys emerged from the cave, draped in hypothermia blankets. Some of the boys were well enough to ask for their favorite dish, spicy pork stir-fried with basil.

"We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave," said a post on the Thai Navy Seals Facebook page, referring to the name of the boys' soccer team. "Everyone is safe."

Monks in saffron robes and wooden slippers meditate over the boys, praying for health, for calm, for peace.

This article originally appeared on Glenn Beck

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