Thai cave rescue: Breathtaking images of daring mission emerges

Annette Crawford
July 12, 2018

The Thai hospital where 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. On Tuesday, the final four boys and their coach were guided out of the cave. And the confidence of the diving team, and expertise specific to the cave, grew after its first successful mission Sunday.

"Some say the boys were heroes, others say they weren't".

"This was truly a team effort involving Brits, Aussies, Americans and Thais, and the divers told us incredible stories", Scott said.

Parents of the first eight boys rescued have been able to visit them but had to wear protective gear and stand two meters away as a precaution -authorities are anxious about the possibility of infections picked up in the cave. He said: "The important thing is. personal space.The best way is not to bother them and let them study".

Scott's wife has been involved with planning the funeral for Saman Kunan, the former SEAL that died on July 6 while helping install oxygen tanks in preparation for the extraction.

The group were taken out in three batches by a team of 13 worldwide divers flanked by the Thai Navy SEALs, who greeted each successful rescue with a "Hooyah" on their Facebook page.

The nerve-shredding three-day operation ended on Tuesday with the final group of four boys and the coach emerging from the cave which had held them captive for 18 days.

The boys would have to stay in hospital for up to 10 days, hospital director Chaiwetch Thanapaisal told the news conference. Three have slight lung infections.

Narongsak Osatanakorn, the official overseeing the rescue operation, said the boys should not be blamed for the near tragedy. "If this place had a roof, the morale has gone straight through it", he said.

In total, 19 divers assisted in the rescue of the final five members of the group, said to be the one of the toughest rescue operations to date.

President Donald Trump joined those paying tribute to the rescuers.

The SEALs commander, Rear Adm. Apakorn Youkongkae, said the soccer coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, determined the order the boys should be rescued in. "Such a attractive moment - all freed, great job!"

All evacuees were blindfolded as they were moved from Tham Luang to the hospital, to protect eyes that had not seen sunlight for two weeks.

A message posted on the English Premier League club's Twitter account said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected".

This means they will not be able to take up the invitation from Federation Internationale de Football Association to attend the Soccer World Cup final in Moscow.

Richard Harris, a world-renowned medic and diver whose presence in the dramatic rescue of the Wild Boars squad was specially requested by experts, was reportedly the last person to leave the water-logged cavern on Tuesday. However, doctors treating the boys said it was too soon for them to make the trip.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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