Home / FT Lite/ Home comforts greet ‘Wild Boars’ captain after Thai cave rescue

Home comforts greet ‘Wild Boars’ captain after Thai cave rescue

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 21 July 2018 00:10

Duangpet Promtep and his mother Thanaporn Promthep smile during an interview at their home, in Mae Sai, the northern 

province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, 19 July – Reuters


Mae Sai, Thailand (Reuters): Happiness is a birthday cake, a meal of pork-knuckle rice, a warm bed and a trip to buy a new mobile telephone.

Those were some of the treats enjoyed by Duangpetch Promthep, captain of the Thai boys’ soccer team rescued last week from a flooded cave, during his first hours at home.

“My bed felt warm,” the 13-year-old, also known as Dom, told Reuters.

The 12 boys, aged 11 to 16, and the 25-year-old coach of the “Wild Boars” soccer team returned home on Wednesday after being discharged from hospital and appearing on national television to describe their ordeal inside the Tham Luang cave.

“When I first came back home, there were so many people waiting for me. I was very surprised,” said Dom, who was welcomed by relatives from as far as China.

His first meal was stewed pork knuckle over rice, a dish he had yearned to eat while stranded in the cave, where the boys had no food for days and survived only on water dripping from stalactites.

Dom also blew out candles for a belated celebration of his 13th birthday on 3 July, a day after the boys were found by two British divers about 4 km inside the cave.

Authorities have asked that the boys be allowed to recover at home, away from the public glare, so that they can return to their normal lives.

Dom, who lives with his aunt, uncle and grandmother, wrote on Facebook that he had to create a new account because of a surge in requests to befriend him. He also bought a new mobile telephone to replace the one he lost in the cave.

Getting back to normal means homework on weekends and soccer practice after school, said Thanaporn Promthep, Dom’s 41-year-old aunt whom he calls mother.

“He’s a good, very responsible student,” she said, adding that meant no girlfriend for two more years.

The boys embark on a course of study this month to become novice Buddhist monks, in honour of Samarn Kunan, a volunteer diver and former Thai navy SEAL who lost his life during the mission to rescue them.

“It’s a very important thing to do,” Dom said.

Thais view the team as national treasures, but three of the boys, and the coach, are technically stateless.

Mongkol Boonpiam, 13, whose parents are from neighboring Myanmar, could qualify for citizenship because there is evidence he was born in Thailand, an official handling his case said.

“Even though his parents are not Thai they have been in Thailand more than 10 years,” Kittichai Charoenying, a municipal official in the northern province of Chiang Rai, told Reuters. The cave ordeal highlighted the plight of people from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar living in Thailand who are denied some rights and opportunities because they are not citizens.

Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

In the desert of Tamil films, actor Sivaji Ganesan was an oasis

Saturday, 22 September 2018

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cit

Imran may turn blind eye to blasphemy law and persecution of Ahmadiyyas

Saturday, 22 September 2018

There are clear signs that Pakistan’s freshly minted Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will make a sincere effort to reduce corruption and maladministration in the domestic sphere. In foreign affairs he is likely to make a brave attempt to mend fences wi

The rate of exchange, capital flight and the Central Bank

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Central Bank (CBSL) exists for the sole purpose of price stability. Its controls on the financial system and monetary policy exist to maintain price stability. As put forth many times by the Governor, the failing of the CBSL to control inflation

Red flag over the Sri Lankan Navy

Friday, 21 September 2018

Shocking story Rusiripala, a former banker in Sri Lanka, who has taken to writing in Daily FT, is perturbed by the red flag I have raised (Daily FT article 18 September) over the shocking charge that our Navy had operated a ransom gang that had abduc

Columnists More