British diver recalls ‘massive, massive relief’ when he found missing Thai boys

Angelo Anderson
July 14, 2018

Before leaving Thailand, one of the members of the British dive team that helped save 12 boys and their coach trapped in a flooded cave sent some friendly words of advice to the recuperating rescuees.

As he flew back to Australia on Friday, he told how he and his Australian dive partner, retired Perth vet Craig Challen, were supported by divers from Thailand, the United Kingdom and Europe as the 12 members of the soccer team and their coach were freed.

The measure "brought us additional time to get this outcome", Jewell said.

"They are the toughest blokes and kids I've ever had the privilege to meet", Dr Harris told prime minister in a Facetime call earlier this week.

Wild Boars head coach Nopparat Khantavong said his remaining players were in good spirits after returning to practice knowing their friends were safe.

In this image made from video, released by the Thailand Government Spokesman Bureau, three of the 12 boys are seen recovering in their hospital beds after being rescued along with their coach from a flooded cave in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand.

In the video, Volanthen is heard talking to the group, telling them at the time that they had been in the cave for 10 days and that many rescuers were coming to save them.

The cave rescue was a unsafe operation.

The film company says they are now in talks with "senior officials in Thailand both on provincial and national levels".

The boys were described as generally being in normal condition in a Chiang Rai hospital, though their levels of recuperation varied because they were removed from the cave over three days.

"We're not heroes", Volanthen said, despite headlines in the British newspapers describing him and the other global rescuers as just that. We're very relieved that they're all alive.

But Mr Volanthen dismissed the idea, adding: "We are not heroes". What we do is very calculating, very calm.

The young football team had walked into the cave when it was dry, but heavy rains had quickly caused it to flood, trapping them 3km deep inside the system.

"We couldn't see them initially - they had to come round the corner".

Dr Harris is home to be with his family after his 88-year-old father tragically died just hours after the successful completion of the rescue.

The Thai Navy SEAL commander said the Royal Thai Navy is always prepared to respond to disasters in the country, stressing his belief in the capabilities of all officials, and thanked for the dedication from all personnel and support from the general public.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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