Thai cave boys to miss final on doctors' orders

Leslie Hanson
July 12, 2018

The water pumps failed, and Commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong heard shouts of alarm as the final stage of an unprecedented operation to rescue 12 Thai boys and their coach from a flooded cave nearly tipped into disaster.

The Thai hospital where the 12 boys and their soccer coach are recuperating after being rescued from a flooded cave has released video showing them in their hospital beds, chatting with nurses and making two-finger victory signs.

The complex, three-day rescue saw four boys emerge on Sunday, four on Monday, and the final four boys plus their coach on Tuesday.

"By the time the last diver was out the water was already at head level, nearly to the point where he needed an oxygen tank".

Heavy rains had flooded the Tham Luang cave blocking the football team in after they first entered on June 23.

It could be at least seven days before they can be released from hospital, said Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry.

"In a message posted on Twitter, the Premier League club said: "#MUFC is relieved to learn that the 12 footballers and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand are now safe.

"We had a little bit of hope that they might still be alive but we had to do it, we just had to move forward", Rear Adm Arpakorn Yuukongkaew said. In underwater parts, they were pulled along in a dream-like state by divers.

Mr Volanthen also paid tribute to Thai navy diver Saman Kunan, who died while replenishing oxygen canisters, saying his death was an "absolute tragedy" and brought a "bittersweet" taste to an otherwise "excellent" operation.


"It's really a miracle", she said.

With the World Cup reaching its climax, Federation Internationale de Football Association invited the Wild Boars to attend Sunday's final in Moscow between France and the victor of Wednesday's England-Croatia match.

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

Pearce says the anesthetist and experienced cave diver would return to his home in Adelaide city soon.

The last member of the rescue team to leave the Thai cave, Australian doctor Richard Harris, has lost his father.

Narongsak Osatanakorn, the official overseeing the rescue operation, lauded the cooperation between Thai and worldwide rescuers. They were located by expert British divers after nine days, and were eventually rescued over three days starting 9 July.

In one section of film shot in a dry part of the cave system, six rescuers grip the handles of a tough plastic cradle carrying their precious young cargo.

"We have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave", and doctors are running a battery of tests on the boys, Mr Jedsada said. However, there is no set date for their discharge from hospital as they continue to undergo treatment.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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