6 June 2024

There was an emotional scene when Lt Col Dr Pak Loharnchun, a military doctor better known as “Mor Pak”,  visited the 12 young footballers and their coach in a happy reunion at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital.

Pak and four members of the SEAL unit stayed with the young survivors  from the day they were found and were among the last to leave the cave after the rescue operation ended successfully.

He and the children met for the first time after they were brought out of the cave one July 10.

Pak, a NAVY SEAL diver and an avid adventure seeker,  posted on his Facebook page today still  images of him embracing each member of the Moo Pa Academy football team and their coach Ekapol Chanthawong at the hospital when they were reunited. He did not say when the reunion took place.

Along with the images,  Pak narrated his impressions with the 13 survivors and praised the boys for their resilience and sense of optimism. They were always in high spirits despite being in an unpleasant environment and a critical situation, he wrote.

“The boys were disciplined. They collected trash after every meal and put it in black bags.  Coat Ake (the coach) taught them not to take anything from the cave and the children listened to him and obeyed him,” he wrote.

“Coach Ake has a good heart and always ready to make sacrifices. As I noticed from the first day, coach Ake shared parts of his food ration with the kids. I think he had taken care of the kids well before they were found. So the children were in better conditions, both physically and mentally, than I expected.

“Every member of the Moo Pa Academy football team knows how other people had made sacrifices in searching for them. I am confident the Moo Pa boys will grow up to be excellent human resources. They will certainly work for the interest of the country and bring good reputation to Thailand in the future,”  Pak wrote.