Incredible operation in pictures: All 12 boys, coach rescued from Thailand cave

Lester Mason
July 11, 2018

Two of this batch of footballers had initially shown signs of pneumonia, but had responded well to the medication they were given for it, he said.

Parents watched and waved from behind a glass barrier, their faces vivid with emotion.

Chaiwetch Thanapaisal, director of Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital, told a news conference involving officials involved in the rescue that "everyone is strong in mind and heart".

"Most caves naturally breathe", says Anmar Mirza, national co-ordinator of the US National Cave Rescue Commission.

The 12 Thai boys and their football coach have finally been rescued after 17 days underground. They would then need to recuperate at home for 30 days, he said.

Two of the boys possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said.

The 12 boys rescued from a Thai cave were passed "sleeping" on stretchers through the treacherous passageways, a former Thai Navy SEAL told AFP on July 11, giving the first clear details of an astonishing rescue mission that has captivated the world.

On Tuesday, Thailand's navy Seals, who were central to the rescue effort, said on their Facebook page that the remaining four boys and their 25-year-old coach were all brought out safely. They entered the Tham Luang cave near the border with Myanmar on June 23 and flash floods forced them to seek refugee on higher ground deep in the 10km-long cave. The cave where the group went missing stretches nearly ten kilometers, it has several entrances and exits, as well as large chambers, where the group members found shelter from the rising waters caused by a rainy season downpour.


The complex mission for global and Thai divers to guide the boys and coach through the cave's flooded and tight passageways riveted people worldwide.

The rescue has dominated front-page headlines in Thailand and beyond for days.

Narongsak said worldwide rescuers led the final phase of the risky mission.

"The world just needs to know that what was accomplished was a once in a lifetime rescue that I think has never been done before", Master Sergeant Anderson said.

Thai police and military personel use umbrella to shield a helicopter evacuation at military airbase in Chiang Rai as operations continue a soccer team and their coach trapped at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 9, 2018.

Falling oxygen levels, risk of sickness and the imminent prospect of more rain flooding the cave complex for months meant "the long-term survivability of the boys in the cave was becoming a less and less feasible option", Anderson said.

Thailand's decision to dive the boys out despite their weak condition and lack of diving experience was made when a window of opportunity was provided by relatively mild weather. This mission was successful because of cooperation from everyone.

"The first eight boys who arrived here can communicate among themselves, but they are still in their beds, and cannot play with one another now", said Dr Thongchai on Wednesday, adding that families of the first and second groups are allowed to visit them. Before their discovery, they survived by drinking water dripping into their cramped refuge. "It's possibly because they stayed together as a team throughout the ordeal".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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