Aussie doctor's accent 'relaxed' trapped Thai boys

Lawrence Kim
July 13, 2018

"We fought and were defeated, losing space to the water", Acting Chiang Rai governor and rescue coordinator Narongsak Osatanakorn told the media.

The IT tech said that the divers were not heroes and directed attention to the rest of his team and the Thai Navy Seals. "I have to praise the coach who took care of the footballers very well", Lertvirairatanapong said.

The worldwide bid to extract the team garnered attention from around the world after the team found themselves trapped on June 23 when they entered the cave after practice and were blocked by floodwaters.

"That is important so these children can reintegrate little by little into their old environment, because they will be very traumatised and vulnerable".

After 18 days, Thai Navy SEALS, government officials, and countless private companies helped orchestrate a rescue that brought each of the trapped soccer players and their coach to safety.

The boys appeared to be in good spirits on Wednesday following their rescue earlier on Tuesday, reports Inside Edition. None of the four boys who were the first group to be evacuated from the cave has a fever, and the three boys who have minor lung infections are improving, Thai officials said, adding that they are taking less medication and can eat anything they want.

He did not say if the coach, the only adult with the boys for nine days before they found, was able to dive and walk out unaided.

The boys are expected to be kept in hospital for at least a week while their immune systems recover.

Initially, authorities thought they faced a reasonably easy task in getting the boy outs, but rescue efforts were quickly thwarted by rain and rising water levels inside the partially flooded passageways.

A Google search on Tuesday for the words "Thai cave rescue" revealed 359 million results.

"We're just very happy that the boys are out and safe", he said.

The exact mechanics of the rescue bid were closely guarded during the operation, but details have since dribbled out. When divers reached them later, they brought additional food, water and blankets. They were carried by stretcher in the compartments that hadn't flooded.

"I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story", he tweeted on July 11.

Duangduen Sittiwongsa, a classmate of 16-year-old Pheeraphat "Night" Sompiengjai, whose birthday fell on the same day the team entered the cave, said they would give him cake when he came back to school.

Questions will remain as to why the team, led by their 25-year-old coach, went into the caves during the rainy season - it is common knowledge that it is a risky time to enter, and signs at the entrance specifically warn of the dangers of monsoon rains. "They have to help each other".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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