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I am totally useless,

You are not useless, you need yourself along with doctors  to get better. We wish you good diagnostic, even better treatment and speedy complete recovery. It 's moving that you still have energy and courage to write to us. Great heartfelt thank you !

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I am totally useless,

you may be helpless, but certainly not useless, as others have correctly pointed out. Hope you will make a full recovery so we we can share another meal at our favorite small restaurant in Silom in the future!



on topic: 

accidentally stumbled upon this series of pictures from the "making-of" of a statue (statues) about the rescue effort. Not that it should matter in this context, but can't help finding the models very sexy indeed ;-) 



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Gaybutton has posted a link to a fascinating incident related to the cave rescue. It seems that one of those who participated in the rescue (Danish Claus Rasmussen) and a companion were driving in a pick-up truck when they took a wrong turn and got caught up in flash flood in Phuket that swept the vehicle into canal. The saga of their rescue by a over a hundred locals includes a great video along with pics.



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This may be the better--if not best--of the special productions about the cave rescue (Thai with English subtitles).


No matter how much I learn about it, it's never enough. No matter how much bad news I read daily, this saga lifts me up. It's the feeling that all the religions of the world hope to instill but frequently fall short of doing.


This quote by the Chiang Rai governor--that ends the video--says it more powerfully than anything I can think of: "It was a mission undertaken by the whole world; by humanity itself."



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From The Nation




Story inspires as interactive cave rescue show kicks off at Siam Paragon


The “mission impossible” of the Mu Pa footballer rescue from Chiang Rai’s Tham Luang cave has been transformed into an interactive exhibition, “Tham Luang Incredible Mission: the Global Agenda”, which opened yesterday at Siam Paragon.

Hosted by the Culture Ministry, the mall’s Lifestyle Hall has been converted into Tham Luang, where the 12 boys and their coach were trapped for 19 days.


Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam yesterday presided over the opening of the exhibition, which runs until September 9.


“By learning from the exhibition, we will adapt these lessons from the globally united mission for solving other crises which might occur in the future,” said Wissanu. He added that the Culture Ministry’s National Archive would document the facts and lessons, which were shared by the dozens of rescuers from various fields. Many of what has been learned is also on show at the exhibition.


The boys’ experiences in the 18-day rescue operation were shared at the opening by Phayao Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, who was the rescue operations chief, Naval Special Warfare Command chief Apakorn Yukongkaew and Dr Pak Loharnchun.


Wissanu said HM the King Maha Vajiralongkorn had ordered the government to host an event to demonstrate its gratitude to the local rescue teams for the success of their tough mission, and also to those who took part from across the world.


Published by the National Archives, the ministry also launched a Thai-language book about the global rescue mission at the kick-off event.


After closing in Bangkok, the show will tour the kingdom.


Continues with pics and video


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From Khoasod English




SAMUT PRAKAN — The widow of a retired Navy SEAL who died early July during a volunteer mission to rescue 13 people from a flooded Chiang Rai cave will take up the same job as her late husband.


Valeepoan Kunan, 40, will become a security guard at Suvarnabhumi Airport, the same job Lt. Cmdr. Saman “Sgt. Sam” Kunan took leave from to volunteer to save the Wild Boars, Airports of Thailand announced Monday.


The announcement came at an awards ceremony honoring 31 airport authority employees who volunteered for the cave rescue. Valeepoan also received an award.



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I came across this today on ESPN. It reminds me that of all the bad news that dominate the headlines, news of the 13 footballers never fails to lift my spirits. Can't think of better ambassadors of good will for Thailand.

From ESPN (Jan. 5)


The Wild Boars football team, whose rescue from the Tham Luang Nang Non cave last year captured the imagination of the world, will be at the Al Nahyan Stadium supporting their country, as special guests of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). On Saturday, three of them were taken on a guided tour of the stadium and spoke to the press while being shown around.

Coach Eakapol 'Ek' Jantawong spoke for his boys, describing the trip as a unique opportunity to cheer for their team. "It's their goal and dream to be professional footballers one day," he said. "Coming here, and being here, they feel that one day they too will be playing for Thailand and playing against the best in Asia."

Titan, the shortest of the boys, is a forward and a huge Lionel Messi fan. His coach likes Messi too, as does midfielder Tee. Adul, who likes to play on the right wing, is the only one to idolise Cristiano Ronaldo. Not surprisingly, he's also the only Juventus fan among Barcelona buffs.

In the pre-match press conference, India coach Stpehen Constantine had mentioned how Thailand's front four players interchange positions a lot, and the key player is likely to be Japan-based attacking midfielder Songkrasin Chanathip. Titan smiles when asked about his favourite Thai player. "I like all the players, but if I had to pick one, it would be "Jay" Chanathip," he says.

And do they think India has a chance of beating their favourite team?

There's polite laughter, though most of it is just the joy of having overcome what they did last summer and living their dream by seeing their heroes in action.


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From The Hollywood Reporter (Jan. 10)

In the aftermath of last's summer's sensational cave rescue in northern Thailand, two phrases tended to pop up in newscasts the world over: "It's a miracle" and "like a movie."

The real-life events indeed had the feel of a thriller: a daring international mission to extract 12 young boys and their soccer coach from more than two miles below the earth, with torrential rains and rising floodwaters providing the race against the clock.

Naturally, Hollywood was quick to pounce. Within weeks, Universal Pictures revealed that it was developing a big-budget feature about the rescue, while director Jon M. Chu, fresh off Crazy Rich Asians, said he would be developing a competing project for Ivanhoe Pictures to ensure that the Thai story didn't get whitewashed in the West. Pure Flix, a production company known for faith-based films, said it too was seeking rights to the story. By July, Thailand’s Ministry of Culture had established a special committee to oversee the foreign films circling the story, which by then numbered at least six.

Since then, just one project has actually gone into production, however — and it hails from much closer to home.

In mid-December, Bangkok-based film company DeWarrenne Productions wrapped shooting The Cave, an independently financed Thai feature that recreates the rescue from the perspective of the mission's many unsung heroes.

The Cave is written and directed by Thai-Irish producer and filmmaker Tom Waller, known for the Thai films The Last Executioner (2014) and Mindfulness and Murder (2011), both of which were acquired by Netflix.

"I felt I was in a unique position to try to make this film, because I'm Thai, but I also have a Western orientation in terms of my background," Waller tells THR by phone from the U.K. "And that matches how this unprecedented rescue came together: It was a Thai emergency, but the whole world tuned in and tried to help."

The Cave's executive producers are Desmond O'Neill and Jonah Greenberg, former head of power agency CAA's China office. Greenberg is producing through his newly launched China-based banner Salty Pictures. CAA's media finance group packaged the film.

The real rescue effort at Tham Luang cave involved over 10,000 people, including more than 100 divers, dozens of aid workers, some 100 government agencies, hundreds of volunteers and police officers, and more than 2,000 Thai soldiers.

Much of The Cave's dialog is in Thai, but also a plethora of other international languages — a decision that was made for the sake of authenticity rather than accessibility. "Every character just speaks the language they would have during the rescue — we have some northern Thai dialect, Chinese, English, pigeon English, and so on," Waller explains.

The filmmakers also set several scenes in territories beyond Thailand, such as Ireland, Wales, China, Japan and Hawaii, where they traced the trajectories of the various rescuers who ultimately descended on Southeast Asia to help. "Besides the incredible heroism of the rescue mission itself, what makes this story so special is how people from all over the world came together in a selfless way to save these boys," Waller says.

Now in post-production, The Cave is targeting a release date in July on the one-year anniversary of the rescue. Insiders is selling the film in Asia, while Wildbunch handles sales for the rest of the world.

Continues with pics


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From Khaosod English (7 Mar.)


BANGKOK — Last year’s dramatic cave rescue operation in northern Thailand is going to be made into a Netflix Original series, Thai officials said Thursday.

The series will be produced by SK Global Entertainment, which has been granted lifetime exclusive rights to direct contact with the 13 members of the Wild Boars football team, according to government spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak. The 12 boys and coach were trapped nearly two weeks in the Chiang Rai province cave before their miraculous rescue.

Lt. Gen. Werachon said the 13 Wild Boars would earn about 3 million baht each from the production, with some money going to organizations and foundations who were involved in the rescue operation.

Sirisak Kotpatcharin, spokesman for the company set up to manage media rights for the Wild Boars story, said the boys and the coach will no longer be allowed to give interviews about their experience without the company’s permission.


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On 3/7/2019 at 8:44 AM, reader said:


 spokesman for the company ..... said the boys and the coach will no longer be allowed to give interviews about their experience without the company’s permission.


another face of modern enslavement 

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11 hours ago, reader said:

If the boys accept the 3 million baht each, they accept the terms of their contract. Not really different than anyone who signs a contract. If you don’t like the terms and compensation, you reject the offer. 

or you negotiate but their negotiating position is weak

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This Netflix series isn’t the only film project in the works about the saga. One, “the Cave,” was shot last year and is now in post production.

Here’s a BBC article with photos of the filming.


Additionally, National Geographic was said to be working on a documentary (“One Day in September”) about the rescue.

An older documentary made by an Australian network can be found in an August, 2018, post adove.

While researching this topic, a few things seem evident:  first, multiple projects are involved; second, we are aware of only tidbits of information about the precise contract terms and compensation packages agreed to by the parties involved. But it seems clear that these brave boys who captured our imagination for so many days have had the course of their lives irrevocably altered both historically and financially.

in the efforts I made to learn more about these productions I didn’t came across any mention that the boys were misrepresented, taken advantage of or were victims of a weak negotiating position. My research wasn’t exhaustive  and would hope that anyone who finds such evidence would post the details in this thread.

What separates the Netflix production is that it involves a series.  Given the company’s global presence and huge subscriber base, the potential for success is heightened.

Here’s an article from the film from Variety that describes the Netflix project.




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From The Nation (23 Mar.)

Wild Boars' help recover equipment from Tham Luang cave


Wild Boars coach Aek, and other members from the football squad, helped recover equipment from the Tham Luang cave this week.

The Chiang Rai cave, the scene of an international cave rescue last July, remains closed to all visitors to allow Thai Navy SEALs to enter and recover equipment left in the five kilometre cave network after the rescue.

The Chiang Rai PR Department reports that navy SEALs and officers from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation have been recovering equipment and 40 oxygen tanks left inside the cave, since the rescue of the 13 team members last year.

Continues with photos


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From CNBC (4 Apr.)

Team members given ketamine before their risky rescue

  • Rescuers gave the 12 boys trapped in a Thai cave ketamine to help protect them from hypothermia.
  • The medical team described their efforts in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine.
  • Ketamine is an anesthetic that has soothing effects.

Twelve boys trapped in a Thai cave were given ketamine to help protect them from hypothermia during the harrowing rescue, the effort’s medical team wrote in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine.

Last summer, the boys and their soccer coach were exploring Thailand’s Tham Luang cave complex when a downpour flooded the tunnels. British divers found the Wild Boars soccer team more than a week after they were reported missing. Rescuers placed the boys on stretchers and swam them out of the narrow cave.

The boys’ wet suits fit poorly and the water was cold, the medical team said in its letter to the Journal, published online Wednesday. Rescuers wrote that oxygen levels were falling and they needed to keep the boys from developing hypothermia, so they gave them “unspecified doses” of ketamine and a face mask filled with oxygen.

Ketamine is an anesthetic that has soothing effects. It also narrows blood vessels, which lessens shivering, and can prevent large dips in a person’s core temperature, making it a “good choice” for patients at risk of hypothermia, the authors said.

Ketamine is often misused as a club drug, earning it the nickname “Special K.” However, it is finding more clinical applications. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Johnson & Johnson’s esketamine, a nasal spray related to ketamine for treatment-resistant depression.


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