CHIANG RAI – Rescue volunteers involved in the dramatic and complex rescue operation to extract 12 boys and their football coach trapped deep inside the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district have been named among Time magazine’s heroes of the year 2018.
Time Magazine wrote, with the whole world watching and heavy rains approaching, rescuers weighed three imperfect options: drilling a hole through the top of the mountain, waiting for waters to recede or suiting the boys up and diving to get them out.
Not knowing if the boys were alive, climbers scoured the hillsides for alternative entries as drones and helicopters buzzed overhead. Divers swapped shifts through the tunnels.
At last, on the night of July 2, two British divers lifted their heads from the frigid floodwaters in the cave and flicked a flashlight beam over the spindly figures they’d found.
“How many of you?” shouted John Volanthen, the diver who captured their contact on video. “Thirteen,” a voice rang out. “Thirteen?” asked Volanthen. “Brilliant!”
The Thai Navy SEAL Facebook posted Hooyah Hooyah Hooyah that Time magazine gave the praise.
Meanwhile, South Korean boy band BTS came first in the second category garnering nine percent of the online votes via Time website from November to December followed by Planet Earth and the Thai Cave Rescuers.
Time’s other heroes of the year include a group of journalists whose work has landed them in jail or cost them their lives, namely Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi who was murdered for his criticism of Saudi government; Maria Ressa, editor of Philippine news website Rappler for its critical coverage of President Duterte’s violent war on drugs; Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe who were arrested by Myanmar authorities while investigating alleged massacre of Rohingya Muslims and the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, a paper attacked by a gunman who opened fire into the newsroom, killing four journalists and a sales assistant