THAILAND (CBSNewYork) — New details have emerged about how 12 boys and their soccer coach stayed alive while trapped in a flooded cave.
As CBS News’ Anna Werner reports, one boy played a key role in the rescue effort.
Teacher Kru Nice says 14-year-old Adun Sam-On has always been a leader, despite the fact he doesn’t have his parents with him or even an official home.
Since Adun’s parents slipped him out of Myanmar eight years ago to escape the ethnic conflicts there, he’s become one of many students at this school considered “stateless” — not a citizen of Thailand or any other country. Yet here, Adun is a top student and a standout athlete.
When asked how she felt when she found out Adun was trapped in a cave, Kru said “I was so worried.”
But Adun’s proficiency in languages — he speaks four — proved key inside the cave, as he acted as translator for the British divers during the complicated rescue.
Before they were found, a family member tells CBS News the boys worked together to survive for nine days in the cave.
When the boys entered the cave they each had a flashlight, they had one watch and one mobile phone with light until the batteries died. They were able to check the watch for the time for the first three days. They slept close together for warmth and took turns digging in the cave to try and redirect the water that had trapped them.
Now, the boys are in the hospital where new video shows them sitting up in their beds. Parents are allowed to see them for 15 minutes at a time, three times a day. Although some parents only come twice a day so the boys can get more rest.
Thai officials said they plan to create an interactive museum that will feature items such as the clothing worn by rescuers.