Trapped 13 express their feelings and food they're missing in first letters from cave

PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

The 13 footballers stranded in a cave have all sent their first letters home.

The Thai NavySEAL Facebook page published photos of seven hand-written letters.

The Facebook page said the assistant coach, Ekkapol Chanthawong, and the boys gave the letters to a team of foreign divers at night on Friday.

ข้อความจากทีมหมูป่าและโค้ช ฝากทีมนักดำน้ำต่างชาติ ออกมาจากเนินนมสาว เมื่อคืนวันที่ 6 กรกฎาคม 2561 ....ไม่ต้องเป็นห่วง...

Posted by Thai NavySEAL on Friday, July 6, 2018

The first page of the paper was on the subject of communication, apparently written by the coach.

The first page says: “What we want to communicate: The kids say don’t be worried about them. All of them are strong. They would like to eat many different kinds of foods when they come out. Teachers, please don’t give them too much homework. The SEALs and doctor Phak, who are taking care of the children, are also well.”

All 13 members of Thai junior football team found in flooded cave

  • Parents of the boys trapped in the Chiang Rai cave shed tears of joy and relief on Wednesday morning as they watched a video of them being treated for minor injuries.
  • The Royal Thai Navy SEALS shot the video and posted it on their “ThaiSEAL” Facebook page, showing the 12 boys noticeably thinner and looking exhausted.
  • But the boys swaddled in silvery blankets proclaim themselves in good health in the clip.
  • Their parents watched the video while they were waiting to talk to the boys via a specially rigged phone system.
  • They reaffirmed their love for the children and said they were forgiven for going astray, since none of them could have expected the June 23 cave excursion would turn into a nail-biting 10-day drama, with no clear end yet in sight.
  • Attention has now turned to how to get the group back out through several kilometers of dangerously flooded tunnels.
  • The navy has raised the possibility that the 13 could be in the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province until the flood waters recede, at the end of the rainy season in four months.
  • But others say the boys could be out in a matter of days if the weather is on their side and water can be pumped out of the cave complex, and if they can be taught to use scuba gear.
  • Kobchai Boonarana, deputy director-general of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation department, said it was up to the rescue team in the cave to decide whether and when the boys would be strong enough to tackle the journey out.
  • “We miss them and want to see them get out very soon,” one parent said as the video played. “They look thinner, but we’re happy they’re safe.”
  • Rescuers found all 12 boys and their football coach alive inside the flooded Tham Luang Cave Monday night.
  • The 13 victims from a local football club, Mu Pa Academy Mae Sai, have been stranded inside the cave in Chiang Rai province because of flash floods since June 23.
  • The group, mostly seated and with baggy football shirts pulled over their knees and illuminated by torchlight, asked for food and to leave the cave immediately, according to the video taken late Monday and shared on the official Facebook page of the Thai Navy SEALS.
  • The group appeared exhausted, rake thin, sensitive to the light but lucid, with some speaking faltering English to try to communicate with the unidentified diver.
  • Family members celebrate while camping out near Than Luang cave following news all members of children's football team and their coach were alive in the cave at Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province late July 2, 2018.
  • The Chiang Rai governor praised and gave credits to two British cave diving experts who found the missing team. He did not mention the names but it is understood to be John Volanthen and Richard Stanton (pic, in blue).
  • Three British cave-divers, Richard William Stanton (L), John Volanthen (2nd-L) and Robert Charles Harper (3rd-L) arrive at Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park near the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai on June 27, 2018
  • 12 boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year old assistant football coach went missing on Saturday after they decided to explore the Tham Luang cave complex in Chiang Rai province,
  • despite a sign warning visitors that the maze of passages and chambers was prone to flooding.
  • Bicycles and football shoes belonging to the boys were found near the entrance, and rescue workers think handprints inside the cave could have been left by the group.
  • But the search has so far yielded no other trace.
  • The race to find the boys has gripped the Southeast Asian nation
  • International rescue teams, including one sent by the United States Pacific Command (PACOM),
  • are assisting the Thai army, navy and police in a search operation that has been hampered by heavy rain.
  • Plans to drill into the mountainside overnight to drain water from inside the vast cave complex have been partially successful.
  • The 10-kilometre cave is one of Thailand's longest. Visitors are usually only allowed up to 800 meters inside the cave, which has a reputation for being difficult to navigate.
  • Exhausted family members have been keeping vigil near the cave as they await news about their loved ones.
  • Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the site, offering encouragement to rescuers and comfort to relatives.
  • "Whatever can be done, do it, the government will back it," said Prayuth.
  • "They're athletes. They're strong," he told the boys' relatives in an attempt to comfort them.

The rest of the letters say:

Chanin Wibulrungruang (Tun): Dad and mum, don’t worry. I am fine. Please tell Brother Yod to get prepared to take me to a fried chicken shop. Love you all!

Ekkapol Chanthawong (Coach Ake): To parents of all the children: The children are doing well. There are staff who take good care of them. I promise to take care of them as best as I can. I would like to thank you for all the moral support. And I would like to apologise to all the parents.

To my aunt and grandmother: I am doing well. Don’t worry too much about me. Please take good care of yourselves. Aunt, please tell grandma to please prepare the vegetable juice and fried pork skin for me. I’ll eat them when I come out. I love you all.

READ ALSO: Thai cave rescue: Many worry that coach may blame himself for ordeal

Sompong Jaiwong (Pong): I you dad and mum. Don’t worry. We are all safe now. Love you all.

Pipat Photi (Nik): I love you, dad and mum. I love my siblings as well. When I come out, please take me to a pork pan (shabu) shop. Love you all.

Mongkol Boonpiam (Mark): Mum, are you doing well at home? I am doing well. Please tell my teacher I love her. Love you, mum.

Phanumart Saengdee (Mik): Don’t worry about me. I miss you all, grandpa, aunt, mother, dad and siblings. I am happy inside here. The SEALs take good care of me. Love you all.

Ekkarat Wongsukchan (Bew): Don’t worry about me, dad and mum. I’ll be away for just two weeks. I’ll later help you, mum, sell goods when I have time. I’ll rush out of here.

Pornchai Khamluang (Tee): Don’t worry about me. I hope you all, dad, mum, and siblings, are happy.

Duangphet Promthep (Tom): I am doing well. But the air is cold. Don’t worry. But don’t forget my birthday party.

Adul Sam-on (Adul): Don’t worry about us now. I miss you all. I would like to go home as soon as possible.

Pirapat Sompiangchai (Knight): I love you, dad and mum. Don’t worry about me. I love you all.

Natthawut Thakhamsai (Toel): I miss you dad and mum. I love you all. Don’t worry about me. I can take care of myself.

Prachak Sutham (Note): I am safe and doing well. Don’t worry. I love you dad and mum.

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