Wet welcome home honours Navy Seal rescuers

Wet welcome home honours Navy Seal rescuers

Naval Special Warfare Command chief Rear Adm Apakorn Yukongkaew and his Seals get a  warm homecoming welcome at U-tapao airport in Ban Chang district, Rayong, on Thursday. (Photo by Wassana Nanuam)
Naval Special Warfare Command chief Rear Adm Apakorn Yukongkaew and his Seals get a warm homecoming welcome at U-tapao airport in Ban Chang district, Rayong, on Thursday. (Photo by Wassana Nanuam)

All Navy Seals and Royal Thai Navy personnel who took part in the Tham Luang cave rescue returned home on Thursday to a wet welcoming ceremony at U-tapao airport.

The C-130 aircraft carrying 127 Seals and 30 other naval personnel passed through an arcing tunnel discharged from water cannons on airport fire-engines as it taxied into the parking area after arriving from Mae Fah Luang international airport in Chiang Rai.

A more comfortable EMB-135 aircraft carrying senior officers also arrived from Chiang Rai.

All took part in the rescue of the 12 young footballers and their coach from Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai.

Families and friends were lined up to greet them as they disembarked. 

The first Seal team joined other rescuers on June 25, two days after the boys went inside the cave and did not return. Reinforcements arrived later.

Royal Thai Fleet commander Rangsarit Sattayanukul praised their work and commended  former Seal Saman Gunan, who lost his life in the operation, for his dedication.

"I am proud of everyone," Adm Rangsarit said. (continues below)

The C-130 transport plane with Navy Seals on board recieves taxis through a welcoming tunnel of water on arrival at U-tapao airport on Thursday.


The Seals, led by Naval Special Warfare Command chief Rr Adm Apakorn Yukongkaew let loose with a strong "Hooyah. Hooyah. Hooyah" before leaving the airport.

All personnel in the operation were taken from the airport, in Ban Chang district in Rayong, to Queen Sirikit Hospital in Sattahip district, Chon Buri, for medical examination before they ren-penter their base.

"Hooyah...Hooyah...Hooyah. Meet us, Thai Navy SEALs, when the country needs us,"  the Seals posted on their Facebook account.


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