Thailand’s tourism minister has ordered the inspection of thousands of ‘adventure tourism’ sites across the country during the search for a boy’s soccer team, which went missing in a cave system but was found Monday.
Mr Weerasak Kowsurat said there were around 4,800 such locations around Thailand, and that safeguarding visitors against any possible perils was imperative, despite the current tourism low season.
In a CH7 video, the minister said operators should be particularly vigilant around water-based activities, especially during poor weather, Thai Visa reported.
According to Reuters, the twelve boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach were found alive by rescuers in the depths of a complex cave system in the northern province of Chiang Rai. The team had been missing for nine days.
“How many of you are there - 13? Brilliant,” a team member says, in English, in a video taken by rescuers.
“You have been here 10 days. You are very strong.”
“Thank you so much,” one of the boys says.
The challenge now is getting the boys out of the Tham Luang cave, which could involve teaching the group to use diving gear to navigate the flooded area, or waiting for water levels to subside.
Though considered a risky endeavor, very few tourists worldwide – including in Thailand – are lost caving (or spelunking). Thankfully, these boys won’t be either.