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Trapped in Tham Luang cave: Many worry that coach may blame himself for ordeal


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Many worry that coach may blame himself for ordeal

By MARISA CHIMPRABHA 
THE NATION

 

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Ekkapon Chantawongse

 

THE ASSISTANT coach of Mu Pa Academy, Ekkapon Chantawongse, 25, is the eldest of the 13 footballers who have been trapped in the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai since June 23.
 

The team members were found safe after spending 10 days in the heavily flooded cave after marathon rescue efforts. Authorities are still considering the best and safest way to rescue them.

 

Some netizens blamed “Coach Ek”, saying he has to take responsible for the incident as he was the eldest of the group who should have prevented the group from entering the cave. He took the boys inside the cave despite there being a warning sign in front of the entrance. 

 

However, some netizens argued that it was the sudden flash floods that had led to the group getting trapped, forcing them to retreat deeper into the cave.

 

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The warning sign in front of the cave cautioned visitors against entering the cave during the rainy season from July to November. The team went in on June 23. It was not their first visit.

 

Despite differences of opinion, most people now see the coach as the main reason why the boys survived the ordeal. 

 

It has been revealed that he advised the boys to use flashlights one at a time to make sure they had a light source for as long as possible.

 

He taught them to drink clean water that seeped through the roof of the cave, not the floodwater, after they had run out of drinking water. He also told the boys not to move a lot, and asked them to meditate to save as much energy as possible.

 

These were experiences he had reportedly gained during his monkhood when he stayed in caves.

 

There is concern that Ekkapon may experience severe guilt pangs and will blame himself for the ordeal and see himself as the cause of the multinational rescue operation.

 

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During the video clip of the first sighting of the missing boys, Ekkapon apparently hid himself in the back, as he was not seen.

 

The second video clip of the group that shot each member one by one showed him looking considerably weaker when compared with his previous photos.

 

That has raised concerns that the coach might be suffering from feelings of guilt.

 

However, the boys’ parents, who are waiting to see their children come out of the cave, told media that they did not blame the coach for the incident.

 

A mother said, “Coach Ek, you should not blame yourself for what happened. We all know that you are kind and always have the good heart to help our children.”

 

Another mother said in tears that her boy had survived this ordeal because of the coach. “I was worried that my boy was missing. What comforted me was that coach Ek is with him.”

 

Thawatchai Thaikhiew, the deputy permanent secretary for Justice, said he was worried that the coach may consider it his fault and may not forgive himself. This could lead to depression.

 

“I ask all Thai people to send him moral support for our hero coach Ek. If anyone meets him, please tell him that he is the one whom I would love and hug the most,” he said in his Facebook post.

 

From a video clip shot during the first encounter between British divers and the missing group, people could see the boys’ surprisingly good spirits although they appeared to be exhausted.

 

Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osotanakorn earlier said that the boys were stronger than expected.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30349417

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-07-06
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Those boys were lucky to have this coach with them during their ordeal.  The parents know this better than muckraking media or black hearted net trolls. An audience with and citation from the King will do wonders for his spirits. 

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He's only 25 years old, and yet he had knowledge and calm beyond his years. He is a great inspiration to his team. People should focus their negative energy on the task of bringing all of this team home united, safe and sound. 

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I watched an interview on the BBC news app with the coach's Auntie. He's only 25 years old and has already lost both his parents. It appears he did his very best for the kids and put them before himself. The people that matter don't blame him, so let's hope he recovers quickly from the ordeal when they all get out. 

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Aside from leading them to a safe haven and sacrificing his own food rations for them, he kept up their spirits... I even read he taught the boys to meditate in order to calm their minds and help deal with the hunger. 

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I have heard reports that the Coach didn't make the suggestion to go in the cave, but the kids themselves decided to head in there and the coach rushed over to get them out. I have no idea as to the veracity of this claim, but I do know that almost EVERYBODY seems to assume that entering the cave was the coach's idea. There is no evidence of this anywhere, and I prefer to make no assumptions regarding this issue. 

I'm also aware that placing blame is inappropriate before all the young people are safely out of the cave and reunited with their families. 

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

The warning sign in front of the cave cautioned visitors against entering the cave during the rainy season from July to November. The team went in on June 23. It was not their first visit.

On the sign, they wrote July-November, what I know they go inside on the 23 of June, is even no any information that the cave is closed to the public during this time. I think the 13 took the decision to explore the cave together, all of them are old enough to do it.

Don't blame that guy.

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According to reports in the Thai media, the boys bought 700 baht of snacks and headed for the cave. The coach wasn't with them, but received a phone call informing him that the kids were in the cave. After he entered, there was a flash flood and all of them had to hightail it to higher ground. Interviews with parents of the kids corroborate this fact, as does the fact that NONE of them feel the coach is responsible for the kids being in the cave in any way whatsoever. 

 

Don't believe click bait - the truth will come out clearly after they are all (hopefully) safely rescued. 

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Put it simple; the coach did absolutely nothing wrong as he did - most likely - not paint the sign at the cave's entrance.

This man deserves a medal because, without him, those kids would have perished within days. 

Why are Thais not just grateful for the luck hovering over the entire fiasco? 

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F anyone who feels the need to blame ANYONE. They are kids, all of them including the coach. Just boys being boys.

 

i noticed in the video the coach looking sad. I feel bad for him. He should be awarded a medal of bravery upon being saved. 

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He has good reason to be worried, based on the report from earlier this week:

 

CHIANG RAI — Police said Tuesday they will look into whether a 25-year-old coach of a youth football team could face legal action for leading them into a cave complex where they were stranded 10 days.

 

Col. Komsan Saard-an, chief of Mae Sai Police Station, declined to confirm or rule out charges of negligence against Ekapol “Aek” Chanthawong, who led the group of 12 boys on the excursion into the Tham Luang Nang Non complex.

 

Full story: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/crimecourtscalamity/calamity/2018/07/03/coach-faces-charges-for-leading-boys-into-cave/

 
 
They need to get all the facts, rather than slander someone who helped ensure the survival of the 12 kids.
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No one is to blame for anything!

Just another day in Thailand!

Yes...I don't think he is a hero! But once IN TROUBLE he seemed to have acted the right way!

For that alone, no one should "charge" him for anything, but please stop calling him a hero!

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7 hours ago, webfact said:

There is concern that Ekkapon may experience severe guilt pangs and will blame himself for the ordeal and see himself as the cause of the multinational rescue operation.

If it was me, in these circumstances, I know I would feel a great deal of responsibility for everything that has transpired. 

 

However, it also does appear that his actions, once things went wrong, have kept the boys alive. 

 

We all make mistakes, it’s how we deal with the consequences of them, that matters. 

 

In this case, the coach did the right things. 

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All fairly typical of Thais: Pretty good at recovering from catastrophe but hopeless at preventing them in the first place.

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