Thai rescue workers released a meditating Buddhist monk who was trapped inside a flooded cave for four days.
The monk, identified by the rescue team as Phra Ajarn Manas, 46, was on a pilgrimage from another province and went to the Phra Sai Ngam cave in Phitsanulok on Saturday to meditate.
An unusual storm fell on Sunday and continued until Tuesday, flooding parts of the cave while he was inside, the local rescue unit said on its Facebook page.
Seventeen divers participated in the effort to find and free the monk from the site, which could only be accessed by divers. A video posted by rescuers shows the monk equipped with a diving mask making a 12-meter dive underwater.
The unit said local residents said the monk was still trapped inside the cave on Tuesday afternoon. They came in looking for him, but had to cancel the operation after about an hour due to the rising water level. They were concerned that he might be “exhausted or unconscious from not having any food”.
Photos on the unit’s Facebook page showed the monk on Wednesday sitting inside the cave surrounded by rescue workers and having his blood pressure measured. “At 11:30 am, we successfully rescued Phra Manas from the cave,” the unit said.
One of the rescuers confirmed in a phone call that the monk was out of the cave and receiving first aid.
Thailand made world headlines in 2018 with the high-profile rescue of 12 Thai boys and their football coach in a flooded cave in the northern city of Chiang Rai.