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Thailand cave rescue: First pics of boys in hospital

12 July 2018

The footage, released by Thai officials Wednesday, shows eight of the boys sitting up in their hospital beds, clad in hospital gowns and face masks.

One of the stories revolves around the heroic 14-year-old Wild Boars member, Adul Sam-on as he played a crucial role in communicating with some British rescue divers, thanks to his proficiency in English. He praised the cooperation between Thai and worldwide rescuers.

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. Highlighting the dangers, a former Thai navy SEAL volunteering to work on the rescue efforts died Friday while replenishing oxygen canisters that were placed along the escape route. "Some of them were asleep, some of them were wiggling their fingers...[as if] groggy, but they were breathing", Navy SEAL Chaiyananta Peeranarong, who helped with the rescue, told the news agency. "But we will have a psychiatrist to evaluate them", he said, while stressing that the boys are "happy and smiling". Before their discovery, they survived by drinking water dripping into their cramped refuge.

The footage, released on the Thai Navy SEALs Facebook page, shows a complex operation with numerous divers - both foreign and Thai - using pulleys, ropes and rubber piping to haul members of the football team to safety.

Rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said: 'We don't see the children as at fault or as heroes.

The complex mission for global and Thai divers to guide the boys and coach through the cave's flooded passageways riveted people worldwide.

"As you can imagine from what's been in the media all week it is not a holiday that Harry has been on", Pearce said. At other times, they endured dives lasting up to half an hour in the pitch-black waters.

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Thailand spent yesterday celebrating the successful mission.

But as a whole, "everybody is doing well", Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, a public health inspector, told reporters at Wednesday's news conference.

"All Wild Boars Saved", read one headline. They will remain in hospital in the nearby city of Chiang Rai for a week, followed by a week's recuperation at home.

"We will sing a song for him", she said.

Rescuers had weighed several options to save the boys, including keeping them in the cave through the months-long monsoon season.

But they were prodded into the unsafe task of "diving out" the team through submerged chambers and claustrophobic passages as oxygen levels in the cave plummeted and rain menaced.

Thailand cave rescue: First pics of boys in hospital