Thai cave rescue: Artists come out in force with creative depictions

One cartoon which went viral online was that of a Navy Seal comforting a crying boar, and telling the boar in Thai to be good when he grows up.
One cartoon which went viral online was that of a Navy Seal comforting a crying boar, and telling the boar in Thai to be good when he grows up.PHOTO: TWITTER/@CPTOEY

The rescue of the 12 Thai boys and their football coach from a flooded cave saw many people - both Thais and foreigners - stepping forward to contribute in their own way. From divers undertaking risky dives to find the stranded team to volunteers who delivered free food to rescuers, many had been widely lauded for their help in the rescue. Away from the ground, some artists have also captured attention online with their depictions of the cave rescue. Here is a look at some of the works of art that have shot to fame on social media:

1. United we swim

The cartoon of a contingent of animals, representing different stakeholders in the rescue, shot to fame online after it was shared on the Thai Navy Seals' Facebook page. Drawn by Sisidea, a Thai cartoonist, it shows 13 boars, representing the children and coach, swimming through a flooded cave. They are flanked by white seals representing the Thai Navy Seals, a kangaroo representing rescuers from Australia, and birds representing the media, among other animals. The group is led by a bespectacled white elephant, which represents rescue operation chief Narongsak Osottanakorn.

2. Thai Navy Seal patting a boar

The cartoon, uploaded by Thai artist Cptoey, shows a Thai Navy Seal comforting a crying baby boar by saying "It's okay, be good when you grow up". The Seal depicted in the picture bears a resemblance to Saman Gunan, 38, who died while volunteering in the operation to rescue the stranded boys.

3. Rescuers leading a boy in water

The cartoon from Tuagom Studio in Thailand shot to fame online for its adorable depiction of two rescuers and a star-struck boy making their way through a body of water. The drawing is a representation of the operation to rescue the team, in which two divers were attached to each boy.

4. Real Heroes

The cartoon, drawn by Thai artist Idol_addict, shows different rescuers pumping water out of a cave, while a diver waited in the water. Different superheroes, such as Superman and Spider-Man, are depicted in the background as the shadows of these workers.

5. Real World Cup champions

Drawn by an artist signed off as Roy, the illustration shows a football team waiting at a cave entrance, as divers rise from the water to present them a World Cup trophy. The artist declared the Wild Boars team as "the most inspiring and courageous football team" in the world.

6. Thailand 13, Neymar 0

Neymar, whose antics at the World Cup have shot him to online infamy, rolled into the rescue drama in this comic by Stephff, a cartoonist based in Bangkok. It shows the Samba star in the often-seen pose of him lying on the ground and wailing in pain, juxtaposed against the young Thai footballers patiently awaiting the arrival of rescuers.

7. They're coming home

This cartoon, drawn by political cartoonist Peter Broelman, makes another World Cup reference in the depiction of the cave rescue. It showed an England fan excitedly shouting "It's coming home" while watching the World Cup. Meanwhile, on one side of the drawing, a woman is on her knees outside the Tham Luang cave, praying for the stranded children to return home safely.


Correction note: An earlier version of this story said the Australian rescuers were represented by lions in one of the art pieces. They were represented by a kangaroo. We are sorry for the error.