Thai boys were passed 'sleeping' through cave, says rescue diver

Angelo Anderson
July 12, 2018

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.

Their plight and the massive, unsafe three-day-long operation to free them gripped the world's attention.

Concerns are already being raised on social media that the movie could be "white-washed", focusing more on the global characters while downplaying the role of Thais.

The most unsafe part of the journey out of the labyrinthine cave system was the first kilometer, during which they were required to squeeze through a narrow flooded channel.

"Some of them were asleep, some of them were wiggling their fingers".

The first four boys are healthy and can eat regular food, Thongchai said at Monday's press briefing, adding that those in the second group suffering from lung inflammation were getting better.

The boys were reportedly sedated though there have been conflicting reports about the kind of medicine they received, with some saying they got anti-anxiety medication to keep them calm while Peeranarong said some of them had been fully sedated.

Footage released by the Thai Navy SEALs showed foreign and Thai divers using pulleys, ropes and rubber piping to haul stretchers bearing two of the barely moving young footballers to safety, their exit framed by the jagged cave overhead.

But he denied they were knocked out for the miraculous rescue. Highlighting the dangers, a former Thai navy SEAL volunteering to work on the rescue efforts died Friday while replenishing oxygen canisters that were placed along the escape route.

Then, with the final divers slowly exiting the cave on Tuesday, the pumps suddenly failed pushing the water level up towards head height in a previously wadeable section of the cave.


"Suddenly the Australian guy who was overseeing that area started shouting that the water pump had stopped working", said Mr Chaiyananta. "This mission was successful because of cooperation from everyone", he said.

The dramatic rescue of a Thai boys soccer team and their coach from a flooded cave complex this week transfixed news viewers around the world for more than two weeks, and the story is already headed for a retelling by Hollywood.

Video has been released showing them in good health and in good spirits, though they will stay in quarantine for a week.

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

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

Myanmar-born Adul Sam-on, 14, was the only member of the boys' football team able to communicate with British divers during the recent Thai cave rescue.

"We will look for a way of securing citizenship for them", said Vitha Tachiboon, of Thailand's youth ministry.

It was the sudden onset of that rainy season that trapped the boys deep underground while they were exploring. That ultimately proved not to be an option when oxygen levels within the tunnels dropped to unsafe levels.

Four Thai Navy Seals are seen after leaving the cave safe during the rescue mission, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand July 10, 2018 in this photo obtained from social media.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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