Rescue Mission in the Tham Luang Nang Non Cave, Thailand


On June 23, 2018, 12 boys from a junior soccer team, the Wild Boars, and their coach went to explore the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in northern Thailand and became trapped within. With the rescue appearing hazardous and risky, this particular incident caused a stir worldwide. This case presents the story behind the entrapment of the soccer team, their discovery after a nine-day search operation, and the different methods outlined by the rescuers to extricate the boys and their coach. Using the four stages of emergency management—preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation—we analyze the extent to which the chosen rescue strategy aligns with the framework. In addition to reflecting on the invaluable lessons that future rescuers can acquire from this pursuit, the case questions the viability of the selected rescue method in tackling similar incidents in the future.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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