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  • Hi, I`m Carl Azuz and guess what?

  • Fridays are awesome.

  • We`ve got a fascinating show set up for you today.

  • It takes a

  • look back at a series of events that happened in South Eastern Asia this summer and became

  • one of the greatest rescue stories of the 21st century.

  • It involves 12 young soccer players, their coach and a group of international heroes

  • who risked their own lives to save those of the

  • others.

  • On Thursday in the capitol of Thailand, the nation`s Prime Minister welcomed the team

  • and for the first time since they were brought

  • to safety by a group of cave experts and divers the team and the rescuers met face to face.

  • One of the men who volunteered to help said he tapped a diver on the shoulder and said,

  • they`re there because of you.

  • So how did all of this

  • come together?

  • The basic facts are that the boys and their coach decided to explore a cave.

  • They got trapped by rising flood waters and they had no

  • way out.

  • They were found alive more than a week later but they were 100`s of meters below the surface.

  • There were large amounts of water between

  • them and safety and the boys didn`t know how to swim.

  • To make matters worse, more rain was in the forecast and no one knew how high the caves

  • would flood.

  • But it`s when you hear the details of where they got trapped, what was done to locate

  • and help them and how they are eventually brought

  • back home that gives you a sense of how daring and skilled the rescue effort had to be.

  • Has there ever been a cave rescue quite like this one?

  • The time military allied with an international team of volunteers searching

  • until the lost boys were found and daringly rescued in remote mountains in Northern Thailand.

  • So much of the drama happened in the dark out of sight.

  • But it begins with a haunting image in silhouette.

  • The kids bikes chained up in a row at the cave entrance.

  • Football boots, shin pads left behind

  • with no sign of their owners.

  • The date Saturday June 23rd and this was the missing party what we can now refer to as

  • the miraculously "Lucky 13".

  • The Wild Boars football team plus their young coach went missing after match practice.

  • They had explored this particular cave before but were

  • apparently trapped by a sudden monsoon flood, water and more water.

  • In came the piping and the pumps and Thai Navy Seals.

  • As the water continued

  • to rise, the equipment for a serious diving operation was transferred by hand and by hoist

  • deep into the cave.

  • Where were the boys?

  • Could they be

  • reached in time?

  • The place is known as the "Big Cave" for a reason.

  • Almost 7 miles of limestone tunnels and recesses, nooks and crannies.

  • Anxious distressed relatives could only wait and offer prayers.

  • The cave known as Tham Luang was mapped by French divers in the 1980s.

  • It`s among the longest in Thailand.

  • But it`s the first few miles of the cave

  • that concern us here.

  • The most recent survey was carried out by this man, Vern Unsworth.

  • The British caver who has a home in the area.

  • His

  • immediate advice was call in British experts.

  • We got the Thai authorities to - - to understand that, you know, they needed expert divers

  • out here.

  • You know,

  • because cave diving - - it`s - - it`s specialists (inaudible).

  • You know it`s like diving with - - you can`t see 3 inches in front of your face.

  • And they needed world class divers and that`s what we got.

  • Rick Stanton on the left, a retired fireman from Coventry and his diving partner John

  • Volanthen, an IT consultant from

  • Bristol.

  • In cave diving, they`re pretty much as good as it gets.

  • At the request of the Thai Command Center, they were flown out from Britain.

  • On

  • the ground they almost passed unnoticed.

  • Just two guys in dark short, t- shirts and Wellington boots.

  • The British divers made their first exploratory dive on Wednesday June 27th, four days after

  • the boys went

  • missing.

  • The challenge was immediately obvious, water the color of cold coffee, almost no visibility,

  • swimming against a torrent of water, the engorged

  • stream that runs through the cave.

  • The divers were able to lay down a crucial guide rope.

  • And on the seventh day of diving, on Monday, July 2nd,

  • they found the boys perched on a rocky ledge and were met by an unforgettable chorus of

  • little voices.

  • What day is it the boy`s asked?

  • Oh indeed.

  • A

  • nice surprise, England the home of Manchester United and Arsenal some of their favorite

  • teams.

  • The euphoria among relatives outside

  • was immediate.

  • The British team some eight British divers in all were warmly embraced.

  • Hugs all around.

  • They brought hope out of the darkness.

  • The boys were joined on their ledge by Navy Seals, given food and emergency foil blankets

  • and medicine.

  • They sent message to their parents, wrote

  • letters that were carried out.

  • Their coach had helped keep their spirits up during their ordeal in their tiny refuge

  • less than half the size of a

  • tennis court.

  • Coach Eka, as they call him, was sat at the back.

  • He had been a Buddhist monk in his youth and taught them to meditate to pass the

  • time.

  • On Friday, July 6th tragedy struck one of the Thai divers.

  • Saman Kunan lost consciousness as he was replacing oxygen tanks and died.

  • He was

  • 38.

  • A retired Thai Navy Seal, he had volunteered to join the rescue effort just five days earlier.

  • His death changed the mood in the cave.

  • Now, there was a growing urgency about a rescue.

  • We know it happened over three successive days, Sunday,

  • Monday, Tuesday, July 8th, 9th, and 10th.

  • Thai Navy Seals have released footage of it.

  • The boys carried out on so-called skid military stretchers,

  • but the most dramatic and daring part of the rescue happened off camera in the submerged

  • part of the cave system.

  • The most important thing was to have a full face mask which we acquired on sight with

  • positive pressure to enable them to breathe

  • and to relax them enough to not feel any anxiety during the process.

  • It seems then that the boys were somehow escorted out one by one by pairs of divers before being

  • put into stretchers.

  • Myself and Jason Malinson (ph) came out after Rick and John and our roll was to help transport

  • the boys underwater, through the

  • cave to bring them out.

  • And not forgetting the anonymous quartet of Thai Navy Seals who`d kept the boys company

  • on the ledge for seven days.

  • They were

  • the last out after the boys.

  • Just to get any of them out alive would have been a miracle.

  • But to get 13 out of 13 won`t happen again, it`s the biggest

  • miracle ever.

  • Well at least it`s one of them.

  • The Chilean Mine Rescue of 2010, the passenger jet that safely landed on the Hudson River

  • in 2009,

  • love to cover stories like these.

  • Our daily, current events coverage picks back up on Monday.

  • We hope to see you then.

Hi, I`m Carl Azuz and guess what?

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