Thousands to feast royally to fete Thai cave boys' dramatic rescue

Thursday, 6 September 2018 World

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thousands of Thais will feast royally in the capital on Thursday to celebrate the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave, a dramatic and highly dangerous mission that gripped the world for more than two weeks.

The team will be guests of honour at a government-sponsored dinner to thank those involved in the rescue at Bangkok’s Royal Plaza, a large public square in the heart of city’s old quarter. The dinner, partly sponsored by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, will cater for 10,000 guests, including foreign divers and cavers, according to the prime minister’s office. All but one member of the “Wild Boars” team were last seen in public last month, their heads shaved after completing time as Buddhist monks in the northern province of Chiang Rai - a gesture to give thanks for their safe return and in memory of one Thai rescuer who died.

People react as the 12 soccer players and their coach who were rescued from a flooded cave as they arrive for their news conference in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand.

The boys and their 25-year-old coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, were exploring Chiang Rai’s Tham Luang cave on June 23 when they became trapped. They survived nine days on water dripping from rocks before they were discovered on a muddy mound by divers. The rescue involved divers and volunteers from all over the world and ended on July 10 when the last of the group was brought to safety.

Thousands to feast royally to fete Thai cave boys' dramatic rescue