How Many People Died in 13 Lives?

January 14, 2024

When 12 boys and their soccer coach became trapped in the Tham Luang cave system in Thailand, it was an international story that gripped the world. The rescue was a massive operation that required pumping over a billion liters of water out of the cave and coordinating tens of thousands of people. And although the boys were rescued, there were some people who lost their lives during the attempt. Ron Howard's 2022 film Thirteen Lives, starring Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell and Joel Edgerton, tells the harrowing story of how the boys were saved. But how many of the movie's hard-to-believe details really happened?

We rounded up the most important details from the real-life events that inspired the film.

When members of the Wild Boars youth soccer team and their coach went missing in June 2018, they never imagined that it would be a matter of months before they were rescued from the Tham Luang cave system in northern Thailand. The international effort to save the boys and their coach was a tense and inspirational tale of triumph over tragedy. And while the story is incredible, it's also tragic — one of the divers involved, Navy SEAL Petty Officer Beirut Pakbara, died from an infection he contracted during the rescue. That's why the film's opening credits are dedicated to him.


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