'Pretty full on': Kiwi diver who helped rescue Thai cave boys

Annette Crawford
July 13, 2018

"We have to do all we can, even though it is hard to fight the force of nature". Their bikes were found near the entrance of the cave and footprints suggested that they had been forced deeper into the maze of tunnels when monsoon rains began to fall.

They were found by British divers after nine days, and were eventually rescued days after in an operation that involved dozens of divers and hundreds of other rescue workers. Lit by several beams of white light, the divers in wet suits and helmets are seen submerging themselves in the water and grabbing on to a metal dive line used to guide them through the winding channels of the six-mile cave.

Rescue personnel work at the Tham Luang cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Thailand's Navy, whose SEAL unit led the rescue, and the Thai government have selected Ivanhoe Pictures to develop a film that would be directed by John M Chu, the president of Ivanhoe Pictures, John Penotti, said in a statement.

Three of the 13 people rescued from the Tham Luang cave complex may be given Thai citizenship within six months, Thai news site The Nation reported on Friday (Jul 13).

"He's a miracle boy", she told us.

Messages were sent to the Thai boys following the Thai cave rescue.

At around 10 p.m., Volanthen emerged from the waters around the mound and shone a torch into the startled eyes of the boys.

All are now recovering in hospital after the ordeal. The navy has a motto: 'We don't abandon the people'.

Thirteen global cave divers joined five Thai Navy SEALs in the risky rescue operation.

Brown was impressed by the rigour of the planning by the Thai military.


"I'm so happy and so thankful to see my son again".

He also paid tribute to Thai navy diver Saman Kunan, who died while replenishing oxygen canisters, saying his death brought a "bittersweet" taste to an otherwise successful operation.

But he had denied they were knocked out for an operation the chief of the rescue had dubbed "mission impossible". One of the boys lies on it covered in a metallic, reflective material.

Much of the rescue team was still inside the cave when the main pump failed, triggering a flood of water.

There are now around 500,000 stateless persons in Thailand, the report said.

"The main challenge in the mission is water, which keeps coming all the time".

"You are very strong", Volanthen told the group.

Thai Navy SEALs also posted photos and a video of some of their operations in the cave on their Facebook page Wednesday.

Once past this stretch, they reached Chamber Three, the SEALs' main base. The diving was over by this point, but still the way ahead was hard.

His parents dropped him off at a Baptist church in the border town of Mae Sai. and the principal of Wiang Phan School, which Sam-on attends, told the Times that he is "the best of the best" and that stateless children often have a "fighting spirit that makes them want to excel".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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