Thai cave rescue boys recreate ordeal in shopping centre as psychologists warn they need a break for their mental health


Members of the Wild Boars soccer team pose for a group photograph with Thai Culture Minister Veera Rojpojanarat (centre left). Photo: AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe
Members of the Wild Boars soccer team pose for a group photograph with Thai Culture Minister Veera Rojpojanarat (centre left). Photo: AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

The 12 rescued Thai footballers and their 25-year-old coach have shared the drama of being trapped for almost three weeks in a flooded cave during a public exhibition in one of Bangkok’s largest malls.

The exhibition features the young members of the Wild Boars football team and shows a reproduction of the cave in the north of the country, complete with the simulated sounds of water dripping.

Equipment used by rescuers and other memorabilia are also on display. Psychologists said the boys, who were rescued in July, should be given a six-month respite from reliving their experiences for the sake of their mental health.

However, Thailand’s military government, basking in the good-news story, has trotted them out for public appearances and interviews.

One exception to the feel-good vibe has been an ongoing feud between American tech entrepreneur Elon Musk and British caving expert Vernon Unsworth, whose advice and experience were considered crucial to the rescue operation.

Mr Unsworth had criticised a well-publicised effort by Mr Musk to lend a custom-built mini-submarine to the rescue effort as “showboating”.

Mr Musk responded on Twitter by implying the Briton was a paedophile. The matter was revived last week, when Mr Musk continued with his unfounded accusations.

The tech baron, whose erratic behaviour on other matters has drawn concern from investors, also told BuzzFeed he hopes Mr Unsworth sues him.

In the meantime, the boys and their coach are due to attend a government event dubbed “United as One”, a celebration of their rescue.

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