A 46-year-old-monk who had been on a meditation retreat inside a cave in a national park in Phitsanulok Thailand was rescued by a team of over thirty rescue workers, including experienced cave divers, after being trapped inside after heavy rains flooded a narrow passage deep within.
We first reported on this story last night and you can read the previous story by clicking here.
The cave, called Tham Phra Sai Ngam, is located in Phitsanulok in lower Northern Thailand, in the Noen Maprang district within the Thung Salaeng National Park.
The monk, Phra Ajarn Manat, 46, entered the cave for meditation around April 3rd according to both residents near the cavern and his fellow monks at a nearby temple. After he had gone deep into the cave for meditation heavy rains took place over the next several days, trapping the monk in the cave system. Local villagers who were aware he was meditating in the cavern and had been making merit to him called rescue teams who reportedly could hear him praying from deep within the caves. However, floodwaters had flooded a narrow passage leading to deeper portions of the cave where the monk was meditating.
More than 30 rescue workers from the Prasat Boon Sathan Foundation along with other relevant agencies worked to free the monk from the cave system where he was over 400 meters inside past a flooded passage.
As the cavern was flooded, the rescue required divers and diving equipment, thus many remembering the similar situation with a group of trapped football players in 2018.
Phra Ajarn Manat reportedly regularly visits the caves for meditation and is well known by nearby villagers who bring alms and merit to the monk during his multi-day meditation trips.
Phra Ajarn was removed with the help of rescue workers and divers who assisted him in swimming through the flooded portion of the cavern. He reportedly had a slight fever but otherwise was in good spirits and health and remained calm during the entire experience, reportedly stating he was given further time to fast and meditate and made the best out of a bad situation. He was taken to a local hospital for a routine checkup following the rescue.
All photos courtesy Prasat Boon Sathan Foundation.