Letters from trapped boys in Thai cave tug at heartstrings


A sample of letters exchanged between the parents and the 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach who have been trapped deep inside a cave in northern Thailand for two weeks.

The letters were brought out Friday night by divers who made an arduous 11-hour swim back and forth to a chamber where the boys and their coach have been stranded since June 23. In the letters, the boys are called by their nicknames by their families, and that is how they are now known by the public.

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A joint letter from the parents to coach Ekapol “Ake” Chanthawong:

“To Coach Ake,

Every dad and mom would like to ask Coach Ake to look after everyone. Coach Ake, don’t blame yourself. We want you to be relieved. Every dad and mom isn’t angry with you at all. And everyone understands and encourage you. Thank you for looking after the boys. Coach Ake went inside with them then you must come out, bringing them out safely as well.”


Ake’s reply to the parents:

“To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crews are taking good care. I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible. I want to say thanks for all the support and I want to apologize to the parents.”


Ake’s letter to his own aunt and grandmother:

“To my aunt and grandmother, I am doing well, please don’t be too worried about me. Take care of yourselves. Aunt. Please tell grandmother to make vegetable dip and pork rind. Once I’m out, I’ll go eat. Love everyone.”


A letter to Night, 14, from his parents:

“To Night,

Dad and mom are waiting to set up your birthday party. Quickly make yourself healthy. Mom knows that you can do it. You don’t have to think too much. Dad, Mom, Sister Nam, grandparents and all relatives give you encouragement always. Dad and mom love you.

Dad Boon, Mom O”


Night’s reply:

“Night loves Dad and mom and brother, don’t worry about me. Night loves you all.”


A letter to Adul, 14, from his parents:

“To Adul,

Dad and mom want to see your face. Dad and mom pray for you and friends so we can see you soon. After coming out of the cave, you must say thank to every officer. We want you to trust in God. Don’t be worried. Dad and mom are waiting until you come out.”


Adul’s reply: “Right now you don’t have to worry about us. I miss you all, I want to leave quickly.”


An addendum to coach Ake was included: “And for coach Ake, thank you for looking after the boys and led them to stay safely during the time of living in darkness.”