BBC : Cave rescue: Who are the 12 boys and their coach trapped in Thailand?

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An illustration of a football team that represents the Wild Boars side

More than two weeks ago, 12 boys and their football coach walked into a cave after football practice in northern Thailand.

The boys, who are part of the Moo Pa - or Wild Boars - football team became trapped when heavy rains flooded the Tham Luang cave and cut off their escape route.

Eight boys have been freed from the cave but four others, and the coach, are waiting to be rescued. Authorities have not confirmed the names of those brought to safety.

Few details about the missing group have been released. Here is what we know about the boys and their coach:

Chanin Vibulrungruang (Nickname: Titan), 11

The youngest in the team. Titan started playing football at age seven before joining his school's sports club.

He was later invited to join the Wild Boars football club.

Panumas Sangdee (Nickname: Mig) 13

According to Nopparat Kantawong, the head coach of the football team, Mig is bigger than other kids his age, but he is agile.

Image copyright EPA Image caption A Thai student shows an image of Panumas Sangdee

Duganpet Promtep (Nickname: Dom), 13

The captain of the Wild Boars, Dom has reportedly been scouted by several professional clubs in Thailand.

He is said to be a motivator and respected by his team for his football skills.

"Players on the field need a captain like this because sometimes the coach can't get in to solve their problems," Nopparat told the BBC.

Adul Sam-on, 14

Adul was born in Myanmar's self-governing Wa State and left his family behind to get a better education in Thailand, according to the AFP news agency.

He speaks Thai, Burmese, Chinese and English and was the only one able to communicate with the British divers when the group was first discovered.

While trapped in the cave, the boys and their relatives have exchanged letters, carried by the rescue divers. Adul told his parents he missed them and not to worry.

"Mum and Dad want to see your face," his parents wrote. "Mum and Dad pray for you and your friends, so we can see each other soon."

Somepong Jaiwong (Nickname: Pong), 13

"Pong is a cheerful boy, he likes football, and every sport. He dreams of becoming a footballer for the Thai national team," his teacher Manutsanun Kuntun told AFP.

Mongkol Booneiam (Nickname: Mark), 12 or 13

Mark has been described by his teacher as a "very respectful and good child."

His father Thinnakorn Boonpiem told AFP that his son is a "good boy" who loves to study - almost as much as football.


Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe mood is tense as people wait for any further news of the high-risk operation

Nattawut Takamrong (Nickname: Tern), 14

In a letter to his parents, Tern told them not to worry about him.

"Dad and mum are not angry at you and do not blame you," his parents wrote, adding they were waiting for him "in front of the cave."

Peerapat Sompiangjai (Nickname: Night), 17

Night went missing on his birthday and his parents say they are still waiting to hold his party.

According to reports, the boys went into the cave on 23 June to celebrate Night's birthday. They were said to have brought treats and snacks along with them.

These supplies likely helped sustain the group in the many days spent trapped inside the cave.

Image copyright AFP/ROYAL THAI NAVY Image caption The group of boys and their coach were found after nine days

Ekarat Wongsukchan (Nickname: Bew), 14

In a letter to his mother Bew promised to help her at the shop once he was rescued.

Prajak Sutham (Nickname: Note), 15

Note has been described by family friends as a "smart, quiet guy".

Pipat Pho (Nickname: Nick), 15

In his letter, Nick told his parents he wants to go for Mookatha, or Thai barbeque, when he comes out of the cave.

Pornchai Kamluang (Nickname: Tee), 16

"Don't worry, I'm very happy", said Tee in a letter to his parents.

Assistant coach Ekapol Chantawong (Nickname: Ake), 25

Ake was reportedly born in Myanmar and lost his parents at a young age.

Prior to becoming a football coach, he spent several years as a Buddhist monk, and learnt how to conserve energy by restricting movements and meditating. According to local news reports, he has taught these technique to the boys in the cave.

In his letter, Ake apologised to the parents for taking the boys into the cave network, but several replied to say they did not blame him.

"I promise I will take care of the kids as best as I can," Ake wrote.

Some media reports suggest when the group was found Ake was weakest, having refused to eat any of the food they had brought with them, giving it instead to the boys.

His note also included a message to both his aunt and grandmother, informing them that he was "fine".

"Do not worry too much about me. Take good care of your health," he wrote, adding: "Please prepare vegetable juice and pork rind for me. I'll have them when I can get out. Thanks."

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