One of the survivors of the Thai soccer team that was rescued from a cave five years ago has reunited with his rescuer.
Daring rescue: Adul Samon, now 19 years old, was among the 12-member Wild Boars soccer team who found themselves trapped in Thailand’s Tham Luang Nang Non cave due to heavy rainfall on June 23, 2018.
Efforts to locate the group were met with challenges due to rising water levels and strong currents, leaving them out of contact with rescue teams composed of local and international volunteers for over a week. On the ninth day, British divers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton discovered the group alive on an elevated rock approximately 2.5 miles from the cave entrance.
Adul, then 14, was instrumental in communicating with the rescuers due to his English proficiency. After spending 18 grueling days in the dark cave with little food and water, all 12 boys and their coach were successfully rescued on July 10.
Heartwarming reunion: Five years after the rescue, Stanton reunited with Samon during the student’s high school graduation on June 10 at The Masters School, located just outside New York City.
After landing a full scholarship at the school in 2020, Samon not only excelled academically but also became the captain of the school’s soccer team. During the graduation ceremony, Stanton delivered a commencement address and stood alongside Samon as he received his diploma.
“I’m very proud of the fact that I was partly responsible for his life, in a way,” Stanton shared. “And to see him make the most of the opportunities he’s had.”
Samon, who is set to attend Middlebury College in the fall, expressed his gratitude for the opportunities he’s received.
“I never thought I would come this far, and I would be sitting here in the United States,” Samon was quoted as saying.
In February, Duangpetch “Dom” Promthep, 18, the captain of the rescued soccer team, was found unconscious
inside his dorm at the Brooke House College Football Academy in Leicestershire, Britain. Promthep died shortly after he was rushed to the Kettering General Hospital. While the cause of his death has not been confirmed, reports indicate that he suffered a head injury.
Last month, Narongsak Osottanakorn, the
Thai government official who oversaw the rescue of the Wild Boars team, died at 58
after battling cancer.