In what will go down as one of the great news stories of 2018, all 13 members of the Thai soccer team – 12 boys and their coach – have been rescued from the cave they were trapped in.
While there were plenty of people who facilitate the operation, a lot of thanks must go to the brave Thai Navy SEALs who took on the treacherous dive into the Tham Luang cave network and waited with the team until they were saved.
Now, a photo of four of the SEALs who had been in the cave has been posted to Facebook, and it’s swiftly gone viral.
The photo shows four SEALs – one of whom was the doctor who ensured everyone was up to the arduous journey out of the caves – giving the thumbs up after the 13 trapped people had been rescued.
“All 4 Thai Navy SEALs came out safely,” the post reads.
“Hooyah Hooyah Hooyah”.
According to CBS, “Hooyah Hooyah Hooyah” is a common refrain among Navy SEALs when celebrating a successful mission.
4 ฉลามขาว ออกจากถ้ำอย่างปลอดภัยAll 4 Thai Navy SEALs came out safely.Hooyah Hooyah Hooyah
The photo swiftly went viral, with 564K likes and almost 100,000 shares at time of writing – around nine hours since it was posted.
Of course, it is important to remember that this was not a mission without casualties, as Petty Officer First Class Saman Gunan died last Friday when he ran out of oxygen as he was setting up oxygen tanks along the route out of the caves.
His wife has since shared her grief, telling the BBC her husband is “the hero in my heart”.
“If you ask me if I’m sad, it’s like I’ve died but I’m still alive,” she said.
“He’s been praised as a hero because of who he was.”
บันทึกไว้ในแผ่นดิน ผู้กล้าผู้เสียสละ แห่งถ้ำหลวงขุนน้ำ-นางนอน ภาพวาดโดย อ.นพพีระ โบศรี
It was all the more tragic that Saman had in fact retired from the SEALs but had come along in a voluntary capacity.
“Although he resigned from the unit, he still loved and had a good connection with all the SEALs,” the Thai Navy SEALs wrote in a Facebook post.
“Even the last part of his life, First Petty Officer Saman left us and this world while working with the SEAL brothers who are also trying to go forward and complete the mission as planned.”
The Thai king has announced Saman will have a funeral with full honours.