Thai rescue workers have freed a meditating Buddhist monk trapped inside a flooded cave for four days.
The monk, identified by rescuers as 46-year-old Phra Ajarn Manas, was on a pilgrimage from another province and had entered Phra Sai Ngam cave in Phitsanulok on Saturday to meditate.
An unusual rainstorm hit Sunday and continued until Tuesday, flooding parts of the cave while he was inside, the local rescue unit said on its Facebook page.
Seventeen divers participated in the effort to find and free the monk from the site, which only divers could access. A video posted by rescuers shows the monk wearing a diving mask swimming 1
The unit said local residents told them the monk was still trapped inside the cave Tuesday afternoon. They went in looking for him but had to interrupt the operation after about an hour due to rising water levels. They were worried that he might be “exhausted or unconscious due to not having food at all”.
Pictures on the unit’s Facebook page showed the monk on Wednesday sitting inside the cave surrounded by rescue workers and having his blood pressure taken. “At. At 11.30 we successfully rescued Phra Manas from the cave, ”the unit said.
One of the rescue workers confirmed in a phone call that the monk was out of the cave and receiving first aid.
Thailand made global headlines in 2018 with the high-profile rescue of 12 Thai boys and their football coach from a flooded cave in the northern city of Chiang Rai.