First images emerge of boys rescued from Thailand cave

13 July, 2018, 12:55 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Royal Thai Navy rescuers entering the cave

Rescue divers told BBC News the boys were heavily sedated during the rescue to prevent them from panicking in the water-filled passageways, which were barely large enough to fit through. 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. All three were revealed to be stateless people as the world celebrated their miraculous extraction from the flooded cave after 17 days.

"We just needed them to know how to breathe and not panic in the water", he said. "Be good people, be a force for good for your country", Rear Admiral Apakorn Yuukongkaew, commander of Thailand's navy SEALS unit, said in a message to the boys before boarding a flight from Chiang Rai. The aim, Anderson said, was to make each of the boys "tightly packaged" so divers could keep control of them and adjust their air supply as needed.

Volanthen paid tribute to the Thai navy diver Saman Kunan, who died while replenishing oxygen canisters, saying his death brought a "bittersweet" taste to an otherwise "excellent" operation. He was the only casualty of the operation.

She added: "I'd like to thank everybody for all their teamwork to get the lads out, it is absolutely lovely".

On Wednesday, the first footage of the boys convalescing in hospital in the northern city of Chiang Rai emerged, with some, wearing face masks and hospital gowns, giving peace signs for the camera.

The exact mechanics of the rescue bid were closely guarded during the operation, but details have since dribbled out.

In some phases they were guided by two divers. And it would take more than two weeks before the whole group were rescued by a team of more than 100 worldwide experts, including South Australian doctor Richard Harris.


"The area will become a living museum, to show how to operation unfolded", Narongsak Osottanakorn, the former governor and head of the rescue mission, told a news conference.

The website of Harris' medical company based in Adelaide describes him as someone who combines a "taste for adventure with his medical practice and a lifelong interest in the underwater world".

The story was a rollercoaster, with nearly every twist and turn imaginable.

On Wednesday, just one day after successfully completing the rescue mission, Thai Navy SEALs released a video on their Facebook page showing exactly how all 12 boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach were ushered to safety after more than two weeks trapped deep within a cave.

Schnauer said they got about five minutes notice when a boy was near the cavern, and everybody would get tense in anticipation.

"There was a lot of chaos, but we were so task-orientated and focused and carried on with the job in hand and carried it out", he said.

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