[PHOTOS] Here Are Some Of The Heroes Behind The Scenes Of The Thai Cave Rescue

Not all heroes wear capes.

Cover image via theSun & Billy Cooper/ABC News

After a three-day long rescue operation, the remaining five trapped in the cave in Chiang Rai were successfully rescued yesterday, 10 July

Image via BBC

Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn described the search and rescue effort as a "United Nations team" consisting of individuals from the UK, China, Myanmar, Laos, Australia, the United States, and Japan, BBC reported.

Here are just some of the individuals who have contributed to the #ThaiCaveRescue :

Petty Officer Saman Gunan died on 5 July after losing consciousness while attempting to exit the Tham Luang cave

The last photo of Saman Gunan.

Image via theSun

According to ABC, the former Thai Navy SEAL was one of about 80 divers who carried out the rescue operation.

The 38-year-old was tasked with transporting three oxygen tanks to the trapped group as the supply of oxygen had fallen to 15% at their location.

Image via Phunu Vietnam

"It's like I've died but I'm still alive. I use pride to repress my sadness," his wife Waleeporn Gunan told BBC.

On what she would want her husband to know, she added that, "I want to tell you honey, you are the hero in my heart. You always were and you always will be."

Divers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton discovered the boys and their coach in the cave on 2 July after a 10-day long search

Image via SWNS

In a Facebook video posted by Thai Navy SEAL special forces, one boy can be heard saying "13!" when the duo asked how many of them there were. "Brilliant!" they said.

The two British men, described as the "A Team" by the vice chairman of the British Cave Rescue Council, are widely regarded as the best cave divers in the world.

Image via Anindya Ghose

Despite their reputations as cave divers, the pair have day jobs in the United Kingdom.

While 56-year-old Stanton works as a firefighter in Coventry, 47-year-old old Volanthen is an IT consultant based in Bristol, The Telegraph reported.

The UK divers' operations to locate the lost boys was overseen by veteran potholing expert Robert Harper

According to The Telegraph, Thailand's sports minister Weerasak Kowsurat thanked Harper for his "dedication to duty and professionalism" before Thai authorities gave him a hero's send-off.

Image via Sky News

Thai volunteers contributed whatever they could to ease the burdens of the international divers while they worked inside and around the cave

Rawinmart Luelert collected the uniforms of rescue workers every night at 9pm and returned them at 4am after cleaning all the kits at her laundry facility. 

"One day, one of my friends set me pictures showing the rescue workers in very dirty uniforms," she told BBC. "Of course it was my pleasure to help."

"I don't have the ability to get the kids out directly, but what I can do is wash these clothes," said volunteer Susan Kankeaw.

Doonnia Kakahen is just one of the volunteers who prepared hundreds of halal meals for the Muslim rescuers every day, after realising that there were more Muslims in the SEAL team than in the other units.

"Sometimes if I make a special dish like briyani or curry, I make even more, so everyone can eat - not just the Muslims."

The volunteer group's leader, Sophia Thaianant, explained that, "The Muslim and Buddhist community in Chiang Rai and elsewhere has united, and we share the same goal - to see this mission succeed."

Sitthisak Sawanrak, who knows one of the 'Wild Boar' boys from his cycling club, volunteers to take people to and from the cave for free.

"The rescue operation is facing so many obstacles, so if I can be just a tiny help to this mission, it would be great," he told BBC.

Despite the fact that several rice paddies were destroyed in the process of pumping water out of the cave, their owners were more than willing to temporarily sacrifice their livelihood

According to ABC News, rice farmer Mae Bua Chaicheun owns about five acres of land at Ban Nong O, a small village downstream from the mountain where the caves are found.

Aside from volunteering at the cave site for 5 days, Chaicheun's is one of the several paddies damaged during in the rescue mission.

When asked how she felt, she simply responded, "Children are more important than rice. We can regrow rice but we can't regrow the children."

Hundreds of other volunteers also worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the safe rescue of the football team

The personnel and volunteers in the rescue operations consisted of individuals from the UK, China, Myanmar, Laos, Australia, the United States, and Japan, BBC reported.

A job well done to everyone involved! You're all heroes to us!

Image via GIPHY

Meanwhile, the young coach of the 'Wild Boars' team has also been called a hero for taking care of the 12 boys inside the cave:

Read about the successful last rescue mission here:

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