Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

First video shows boys in hospital after cave rescue

A map locating the Tham Luang cave complex A map locating the Tham Luang cave complex
Shannon Reynolds | 12 July, 2018, 09:41

In an operation that gripped the entire world, all 12 boys and their football coach have been successfully rescued from a cave in Thailand after being trapped for more than two weeks.

Narongsak Osatanakorn, the official overseeing the rescue operation, said the boys should not be blamed for the near tragedy.

"We believe this simple gesture can help these faces recover the joy and smiles that no child should ever lose", club president Luis Filipe Vieira wrote to the Thai ambassador to Portugal.

"Anyone can bring this card to show it to the doctors, so the doctor can be alerted to any kinds of diseases and take care of them, such as colds", Thongchai said.

The trapped group in Thailand have now all been rescued from the cave, and are now recuperating in hospital. Some sat and made the "peace sign" gesture for the camera.

"Everyone is strong in mind and heart", he said at a news conference of officials involved in the high-risk rescue effort.

"My job was to transfer them along", he said, adding the "boys were wrapped up in stretchers already when they were being transferred". Authorities are anxious about the possibility of infections picked up in the cave.

However, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has said precautions would have to be implemented both inside and outside the cave to safeguard tourists.

"The important thing is. personal space", Prayuth told reporters. "The best way is not to bother them and let them study".

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The 12 boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their coach became trapped on June 23 when they were cut off by floodwaters while exploring the cave. They were found by a pair of British divers more than a week later. They will be able to eat normally this evening. Former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan died last Friday while putting extra air tanks along the escape path.

The commander of the navy SEAL unit that oversaw the rescue, Rear Admiral Apakorn Yuukongkaew, hailed the worldwide effort.

"We are not heroes. This mission was successful because of cooperation from everyone", he said. "For SEALs, this is what we were trained for".

The second group of boys rescued has been given approval to see their parents through glass, but the third group are still undergoing tests, he said. He lives part of the year in Thailand and has been helping in rescue effort at the cave.

The catchphrase "Hooyah" was trending on Twitter after Thai Navy SEALs used it repeatedly on their Facebook page as a rallying cry during the operation.

But Thai authorities have been coy on how a group of boys, many of whom could not swim and none with diving experience, could have navigated the treacherous narrow and submerged passageways of the Tham Luang complex, even with expert diving support.

Doctors said that when the boys first arrived, one had a heartbeat that was too slow and some other had low counts of white blood cells, though those issues have since been resolved.

The last of the Wild Boars team were brought to the surface on Tuesday.

The boys won't attend the World Cup final.

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