Grit, daring and beating terror - how Thailand's cave boys were rescued


Grit, daring and beating terror - how Thailand's cave boys were rescued

A Thai government official says all 12 boys and their coach are doing well after their rescue from the Tham Luang cave.

Thailand is considering granting citizenship to the coach and three stateless young members of the soccer team that was trapped inside a flooded cave complex for more than two weeks - one of whom is something of a prodigy who speaks four languages, according to a new report. They were found after 9 days by a pair of British divers.

On July 2, Volanthen and Stanton were stringing a safety rope through a flooded area of the cave when they popped up in a cavern and, to their surprise, saw all 12 boys and their coach huddled on a small beach in the darkness of the cave.

Initially isolated in hospital in Chiang Rai because of fears of infection, the boys have now been allowed to meet their families.

After a 17-day struggle, an image of the Thai boys flashing victory sign, smiling and waving from their hospital beds gripped the world.

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.

Cylinders placed at locations throughout the cave for replenishing the boys' air supply were "jammed" with 80 percent oxygen instead of regular air because "that would plus up their oxygen saturation levels and that would be really good for them, their mental state", he said.

When the Wild Boars football team was located deep inside the cave, after being missing for a week, the Adelaide anaesthetist abandoned his holiday in Thailand and volunteered to help.

The remaining team members waited for news that the rescue had succeeded before returning to training on Thursday evening, on a field where they are eager to see their friends again soon.

"The recovery process should take around 30 days after they are discharged", he added. A former Thai navy SEAL diver died during the mission. He said they survived by drinking clean water dripping into the cave.

The new video from the navy does not include footage of the divers in the water with the boys, but it does show a team of people using pulleys, string and rubber tubes to haul a green, kayak-shaped stretcher out of a tight crevice.

Like the Chilean rescue, the Thai drama showcases real-life courage in the face of harrowing circumstances, said Mike Medavoy, the Oscar-nominated producer of "The 33".

"On behalf of the operation unit, we want to send our condolences to him and I do have to thank him a lot", he said.

"I hope one day, in a few years, they will be able to tell their story, because, like ours, it's a story of faith and hope", Urzua told Reuters.

Officials plan an interactive museum at the Tham Luang cave based on the historic rescue mission that will feature items such as clothing that key rescuers wore during the operation, Narongsak said.

"[He] is an extraordinary Australian and he has certainly made a big difference to the rescue effort here in Thailand", she said.