Thirteen miracles: Soccer-team rescue succeeds in Thailand; Update: "Mission accomplished"

The potentially tragic story of the young boys and soccer coach stuck in a Thailand cave came to a miraculous end this morning. On the third day of a difficult and dangerous operation, military divers managed to get the last four boys and their coach out of the long series of caves into which they wandered more than two weeks ago. “All thirteen Wild Board are now out of the cave,” the Thai SEALs posted on social media as their nation and the world celebrated:

As Fox News notes, the only people remaining in the cave system are the rescue divers, who should be coming out shortly as well:

Thailand’s navy SEALs say all 12 boys and their soccer coach have been rescued from a flooded cave in far northern Thailand, ending an ordeal that lasted more than two weeks.

They say the four boys and coach rescued Tuesday, after other rescues in the previous two days, are all safe.

The SEALs say they’re still waiting for a medic and three Navy SEALs who stayed with the boys to emerge from the cave.

It’s been an amazing story to follow, with the ending perhaps more amazing than anyone anticipated. The complete success of this operation is still tempered with the death of one Thai SEAL who died while attempting to set up the rescue, but it seemed beyond belief that it would succeed at all. The BBC’s Dan Johnson reviews the seemingly insurmountable challenges that rescuers faced:

This will go down as one of the “great escapes,” as Johnson puts it, or better yet the great rescues. For the boys and the coach, there was no escape without the global effort to extract them from the trap. It’s a reminder that we can move mountains and seas when we come together for a common purpose.

We don’t often see these kinds of miracles. We should take a moment to celebrate them when they occur.

Update: And that’s a wrap:

The rescue chief has just said all the Navy Seals – three divers and a doctor – are out of the cave.

We do not have details about their exact condition, but this extraordinary rescue mission now appears to have come to an end.

And the world breathes a sigh of relief — and gratitude.