Chiang Rai: 14 year old Adul played a crucial role in the rescue

The 13 members of Mu Pa Football Academy are now recovering in Chiang Rai hospital. According to attending medical officials, all are doing well. One of them was a crucial link in the recovery process, especially in the first encounter with the English divers when the team were discovered.

Adul Sam-on is the only one of the boys who can speak English. Indeed he speaks five languages – Thai, English, Burmese, Mandarin and Wa, a dialect spoken near the Myanmar and China border. His journey from the strife-torn Myanmar border region and determination to make a better life in northern Thailand is a positive side story to the Tham Luang Cave drama.

With no birth certificate, no ID card and no passport, Adul cannot legally marry, get a job or bank account, travel, own property or vote. Thailand has vowed to register all stateless people by 2024, but until then people like Adul remain stuck in legal limbo. –

His ability to communicate with the English-speaking divers who were attending to the team and preparing them for their evacuation, was a life-saving skill that aided the process. Adul has a fascinating back-story and will be one of the many, many journeys we will hear about in coming months.

Related news and AFP put together this report about Adul HERE.


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