For those who have not yet heard: all the kids and their soccer coach have been rescued from the caves. All remaining rescue personnel have made it back to safety. The kids and their coach are now receiving medical attention, and all rescue operations are being broken down. The world basically just gave a collective sigh of relief, though we remember the hard work of the rescue personnel and the sacrifice given by former Thai SEAL Saman Kunan (alternatively spelled on some sites as Gunan).

Here is a basic rundown of the story, from the beginning.

The team goes missing

On June 23, twelve boys from a soccer team and their coach ventured into the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system in northern Thailand. Their soccer team is called the “Wild Boars” and they are between the ages of 11 and 16. However, monsoon season had swept over Thailand, and heavy rains began to fall very quickly. Due to the nature of the cave system, they were not able to immediately exit and became trapped, under threat of the rising water levels. Many of the children could not swim, and thankfully none of them tried to swim all of the way out.

They sat there for days. In the darkness, unable to discern night from day. They couldn’t have known whether or not rescue personnel were coming for them, but they simply waited. No doubt many of these kids will wrestle with side effects of such a traumatizing event, let alone some of the events that were to follow.

Meanwhile, a park ranger noticed items the “Wild Boars” had left behind near the entrance of the cave. He called it in, and the first of many rescue personnel began to respond.

A pair of soccer cleats are left next to bicycles from a group of missing boys at the entrance of a deep cave in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand, Monday, June 25, 2018. | Thai News Pix via AP

Rescue efforts begin

In the ensuing days, the situation began to grab international attention. No one was sure where the kids were in the cave system, or even if they were still alive. Military divers were sent to the scene, to include the extremely capable Underwater Demolition Assault Unit (UDAU), colloquially known as the Royal Thai Navy SEALs. Other countries were involved as well — advisers from the U.S. military as well as Australian Federal Police and members of the Australian Defense Force.

The Royal Thai Navy SEALs worked with professional divers from other countries to scour the caves. As they weren’t sure exactly what had happened at the time, they were also using drones, dogs, and other methods to try to discern the location of the missing boys in the area. This was all done combating the monsoon rains that made it very difficult to operate in, not to mention further complicating the dives into the caves. They currents were rough; the caves were dark and extremely hard to navigate. Light from the divers would barely travel in the murky water.

On July 2, two British caving divers were continuing to explore the caves as far as they could. Richard Stanton is a professional diver who retired from fighting fires years before. Now 57, he has refined his diving skills over the years and assisted in several rescue operations around the world. John Volanthen, 47, is an IT consultant who is also quite the athlete — marathons and climbing mountains are on his resume on top of a wealth of cave diving experience. The two were under the oversight of Robert Harper of the British Cave Rescue Council.