Chiang Rai – Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province will be closed to all visitors from February 19, 2019, to allow the Navy SEALs to recover equipment left in the cave after the international rescue mission rescued 13 members of the Wild Boar youth soccer team who had been trapped by flooding last July.
Kawee Prasomphol, Chief of the Tham Luang-Khunnam Nangnon national park in Mae Sai district, said the closure would also allow naval officers to document the scene inside the cave. The surrounding area remains open to the public.
On January 17, 2019, a SEAL team and rescue workers, including British cave diver Vernon Unsworth and park officials, inspected the cave’s interior and found a large quantity of abandoned oxygen tanks, pumps and other equipment.
They entered the cave system only as far as the third chamber, but have not yet reached the location where the footballers took refuge for more than two weeks.