Where Are the Rescued Thai Boys ‘Wild Boars’ Now? – Sadly, the assistant coach and 12 players from the young association soccer club Wild Boars became trapped inside Thailand’s Tham Luang Nang Non-Park caverns back in 2018. As described in Amazon Prime’s “Thirteen Lives,” they were stranded in this flooded karstic system without any resources for more than two weeks. Yet, coordinated efforts eventually resulted in their safe rescue. So now that this tremendously dramatic situation has finally come to a close for good, let’s learn more about the young guys, their experiences, and their current situation.
What Happened to the Soccer Team ‘Wild Boars’ in the Cave?
A year ago, a football squad made up primarily of underprivileged or stateless youths visited a tourist cave complex in northern Thailand on a day excursion with their coach.
They surfaced 18 days later to widespread acclaim and were courted by writers, talk show presenters, and movie producers eager to share the fantastic tale of the risky operation that saved them from the flood depths.
After a typical practice on Saturday, June 23, 2018, most of the Wild Boars team decided to explore the Tham Luang caverns. However, they had no idea what they would get themselves into. This is because they entered the “Great Cave of the Sleeping Lady” in relatively good weather only to have a steady downpour suddenly flood through the porous mountain limestone. Fortunately, their instructor, Ekkaphon Chanthawong, who was then 25 years old, was with them, and he was able to direct the lads to a high rock 2.5 miles from the cave’s entry in order to escape the rising flood.
Adul Sam-on, who was 14 at the time, rose to prominence as one of the drama’s leading men at that point. He entered the complex of caves as a stateless person, just like several other group members, including the group’s instructor, Ekkapol Chantawong, who had been denied Thai citizenship.
His courteous “thank you” in English to the British divers who discovered the group, hungry, cold, but alive, nine days after they went missing, however, catapulted him into the spotlight.
Adul lived without a birth certificate in a state of legal uncertainty after being born in the autonomous Wa State of Myanmar and reared in Thailand.
Adul, his coach, and two other colleagues were granted citizenship and passports for the first time after their dramatic rescue, enabling them to travel to places like Manchester and Los Angeles.
Those who know the Wild Boars say fame has not altered them, despite this Sunday’s marking the anniversary of the saga’s beginning.
According to Adul’s buddy, Aman Sommol, “He’s a regular person, just like before,” who spoke to AFP from his school. Adul, a committed student, continues to tutor his buddies in English and assist them with their schoolwork.
Aman continued, “He serves as an example for the younger students at school.” Adul and a number of other Wild Boars are currently playing for the Ekkapol Academy, a brand-new team Coach Ek established.
Ek waves to the visiting journalists while doing drills, but he cannot discuss the cave drama due to Netflix’s confidentiality agreement.
According to his friends, he is delighted that his dream of starting his own football academy has finally come true. “This is a new life for him,” assistant coach Noppadol Kanthavong told AFP. “After the storm came peace.”
Additionally, Coach Ek now serves as the CEO of a media firm that will serve as the middleman between the boys, the production companies, and their families for a Netflix project that will also feature “Crazy Rich Asians” filmmaker Jon M. Chu.
Payments to the youngsters have been the subject of rumours; the US media has estimated the amount at $100,000 for each boy.
These boys ranged in age from 11 to 16, with Chanin “Titan” Viboonrungruang, a soccer (or football in Thailand) lover from the tender age of seven, being the youngest. Next were Panumart “Mix” Saengdee, Somphong “Pong” Jaiwong, and Mongkol “Mark” Boonpiem, all of whom were 13 years old (stateless, like their assistant coach). The lone English speaker among the 13, Adul (not Adun) “Dul” Samon, was joined by Nattawut “Tern” Takamrong, Ekkarat “Biw” Wongsukchan, and Adul (not Adun) “Dul” Samon, all 14.
Despite being a stateless person, Adul was the first to communicate with the divers when they were found nine days later. In addition to them, there were also Prachak “Note” Sutham, Phiphat “Nick” Phothi, Phonchai “Tee” Khamluang, a stateless person, and Phiraphat “Night” Somphiangchai, who was 16 or 17 years old.
It’s important to note that the latter actually celebrated his 17th birthday inside the cave, and that all of the Wild Boar Boys have thanked their assistant coach for keeping them as safe as possible. They did experience a period of hopelessness, but they persisted in their resolve to stand up for themselves and one another.
Most of the 12 “Wild Boars,” as the group was called, continue to reside in the impoverished northern town of Mae Sai, which was once a peaceful outpost but is now overrun with tourists taking selfies.
Where Are the Wild Boar Team Members Now?
Every single child tried their best to resume their regular life after being rescued, rehabilitated, and reunited with their family on the mission’s final day, July 10, 2018. The coach and the three at-the-time stateless youngsters received official Thai citizenship on September 26, 2018, which is the only unquestionably positive outcome of this severe tragedy.
Regarding their current whereabouts, we’re delighted to say that it appears that the majority of the Wild Boar Boys are still committed to both their schooling and football/soccer in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
Mix, Dom, Pong, and Mark appear to be continuing their studies while Titan is still in school; Pong is specifically enrolled in Chiang Mai Technical College. Tern is currently hard to obtain information on. However, Biw and Dul are both still playing good football. Dul even enrolled in The Master’s School in New York (2023) and a summer program at Cornell University to increase his academic possibilities.
Note is happily married and lives in Chiang Rai with his partner, Suphawadee Saetang. Nick is now a rescue centre employee, and very soon, he will get married. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find any specific information about Tee or Night.