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Be a force for good, navy SEAL commander tells Thai cave boys

13 July, 2018, 02:17 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Richard Harris and his dive partner Craig Challen and the team of doctors he worked with and DFAT officers

In a letter written to the 25-year-old coach while he and the 12 members of the Wild Boar soccer team were still trapped in the cave, parents thanked him for taking care of their children.

A Thai government official says all 12 boys and their coach are doing well after their rescue from the Tham Luang cave.

All are recovering at a hospital in northern Thailand's Chiang Rai province, where video showed several of them in seemingly good spirits, waving and flashing peace signs to the camera.

The rescue mission began after the youth soccer team became trapped when heavy rainfall flooded the cave system on June 23.

Hundreds of personnel were involved in the rescue mission including expert divers from all over the world.

There have been calls for John Volanthen and Rick Stanton to be honoured after they were the first divers to reach the stranded group in the Tham Luang cave complex. "My job was to transfer them along", former Navy Seal Chaiyananta Peeranarong told the AFP news agency.

"Some of them were asleep, and some of them were wiggling their fingers, kind of groggy, but they were breathing".

Raw video shows the boys rescued from the Thai cave recovering in the hospital today.

Boys rescued from Thai cave recovering with sunglasses and chocolate
Crowds at the teeming rescue site cheer the good news, but attention soon turns to the hard task of getting the boys out safely. When asked about his first reaction as he saw the first set of boys who were rescued he admitted that he was "very scared".

The four boys rescued Sunday have normal heart rates and no fever, and the two of them with lung infections are improving.

Three hours after the final five were rescued, pumping machinery failed and the water level rose dramatically.

"Our thanks and greatest admiration go the British lead divers, and support divers along the route in and out of the cave system from the EU, US, China and Australia, as well as the vast number of participants from military and civilian organisations in various support roles", the statement continued. "This mission was successful because of cooperation from everyone", he said. All appear in good health and with no serious infections, officials said. "Most of the boys lost an average of two kg", Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, an inspector for Thailand's health department, told reporters on Wednesday.

The saga is reminiscent of the 2010 rescue of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped for 69 days, a tale that was turned into the 2015 movie "The 33" starring Antonio Banderas.

Closer to home, Chiang Rai locals rejoiced at the odds-upsetting rescue bid. He said he just came to save the kids.

Seeing his son through the glass, he said he only wanted to hug him.

"He is brilliant with children, and he would have made sure that they were prepared in the best possible way from a cave-diving perspective", she said.

But they were prodded into the risky task of bringing the team through submerged chambers and claustrophobic passages as oxygen levels in the cave plummeted and rains menaced.

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