By NAN Contributor
News Americas, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mon. July 23, 2018: A Caribbean government is extending an all-expense paid vacation to the 12 teenage soccer players and their coach who were recently rescued from a cave in Thailand after being trapped there for more than two weeks.
The Government of Jamaica says it will be inviting the Wild Boars Thai soccer teens and their 25-year-old assistant coach to vacation in Jamaica.
The island’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, was quoted by the government information news service as saying he “couldn’t think of a more appropriate gesture for these brave and extraordinary young men than to have them come and enjoy our beautiful island home.”
Bartlett said Jamaica will be using all its diplomatic channels through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Jamaican Honorary Consulate in Bangkok, Thailand to make the vacation a reality.
“This will be an all-expense paid vacation and something that we are happy to do as part of the international community and to show appreciation for the special friendship we have had with the people of Thailand over the years,” Bartlett was quoted as saying.
The 12 boys, aged 11 to 16, and their coach, a former monk, were trapped in the Tham Luang cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai on June 23rd after going exploring. They explored the underground tunnels for about an hour, before deciding to turn back. But by this time the cave had become partially flooded and their exit was blocked.
They were discovered on Monday, July 2, having spent nine days without fresh water or food. The group was found trapped in the flooded area half a mile below the surface by two British divers a week ago in a chamber some 2.5 miles from the cave’s mouth.
Thai Navy Seals and a number of international volunteer divers took days to come up with a plan to safely rescue the team and the entire group were rescued over three days between July 9th and 11th.