Boys Rescued from Thai Cave in Good Health

Elias Hubbard
July 13, 2018

A soccer coach rescued with a 12-member squad of boys this week from a flooded cave in Thailand is a kind and humble young man who loves sports and hopes to become a Thai citizen, a relative and friend said on Thursday. I think it was the result of an worldwide team of military and civilian divers working alongside the Thai Navy.

The extraordinary operation to save the boys came to an end on Tuesday, when the Thai Navy SEAL rescuers and a doctor followed the last four boys and their coach out of the cave complex.

"Suddenly the Australian guy who was overseeing that area started shouting that the water pump had stopped working", Chaiyananta told AFP.

British divers found them, hungry and huddled in darkness on a muddy bank in a partly flooded chamber several kilometres inside it, on Monday last week.

The "Wild Boars" football team got stuck inside the cave on June 23 after flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains blocked the entrance.

The authorities had previously denied the children were drugged but Prayut Chan-o-Cha confirmed that they had been given an anxiolytic "to make them not excited, not stressed".

After being brought out of the cave, one by one beginning on Sunday, they were taken by helicopter to a hospital in the town of Chiang Rai, about 70 km (45 miles) away, to stay in quarantine.

The next day, four more were rescued after a 9-hour mission.

Saman's death, the only casualty in the operation, was widely mourned.

The world held its breath over the three days it took to retrieve the Wild Boars.

After nearly three weeks trapped in the dark, away from their loved ones in a cave in northern Thailand, the boys, aged between 11 and 16, were allowed to see their relatives in a carefully controlled environment, as doctors are still concerned about their health.

Closer to home, Chiang Rai locals rejoiced at the odds-upsetting rescue bid.

Experts say the divers brought a variety of skills, including the ability to install guidelines that help in low visibility, and previous experience in worldwide operations.

Anaesthetist Richard Harris did the final medical checks of the 12 trapped boys and their coach.

"The Dispatch reports that an article on the Nation News Network website in Thailand said Narongsak was "one of the knights in shining armor" during the rescue", helping to launch rescue efforts when the team was first trapped.

She also praised his diving partner, Craig Challen, a vet from Perth who accompanied Dr Harris into the caves.

"The favourable outcome that has been achieved is nearly beyond our imagination when we first became involved in this operation".

The 12 boys and their soccer coach lost an average of 2 kg (4.4 lbs.) during their ordeal but were generally in good condition and showed no signs of stress, a senior health official said earlier.

Officials plan an interactive museum at the Tham Luang cave based on the historic rescue mission that will feature items such as clothing that key rescuers wore during the operation, Narongsak said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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