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Bill Shorten backs award for Australian doctor’s Thai rescue bravery

13 July 2018

He spoke of the "relief" he felt at seeing the boys, members of a football team called the Wild Boars, rescued after their 18-day ordeal in Thailand's Tham Luang Nang Non caves.

The first footage of the boys, aged 11 to 16, convalescing in hospital in the northern city of Chiang Rai emerged on Wednesday, with some, wearing face masks and hospital gowns, giving peace signs for the camera.

Flanked by other members of the dive rescue team, Mr Stanton was asked about his emotions when the boys were found and replied: "Initially, of course, excitement".

"Some of them were asleep, some of them were wiggling their fingers".

At the first training session since their teammates went missing in a Thai cave, the remaining "Wild Boars" said they can not wait to see their friends back on the pitch.

"Basically I flew from Bangkok to Chiang Mai the next morning, went straight to the staging area at the cave and joined in with the Thai Navy Seals", he said.

Thailand's junta chief told reporters on Tuesday that the group had been given a "minor tranquiliser" to help calm their nerves.

Up to 100 people were inside the cave during the rescue and each boy was handled by dozens of rescue workers through nine chambers as they made their way out.

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The study was led by Al Ross, who wrote a grant funding the creation of a Morse code communicator for disabled children. The project was developed in collaboration with Tania Finlayson, an assistive tech developer with cerebral palsy.

Mr Jewell said it was very hard to judge how close it came to being a very different outcome.

Thailand spent yesterday celebrating the successful mission.

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.

The saga of the "Wild Boars" gripped the world, with the lives of the group hanging in the balance as the threat of heavy rain injected urgency to an already perilous extraction bid.

The exact mechanics of the rescue bid were closely guarded during the operation, but details have since dribbled out. "They talked to the boys far away from them, about 2 meters [6.5 feet]", Thongchai said.

He told the Mail, "We were extremely fortunate that the outcome was the way it was".

The Tham Luang cave complex will remain closed to the public for at least six months, said Chongklai Worapongsathorn, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. That ultimately proved not to be an option when oxygen levels within the tunnels dropped to risky levels.

The wife of a Thai navy diver who died working to rescue a youth soccer team trapped for days in a flooded cave says she misses him dearly, but has urged the boys not to blame themselves for his death.

Bill Shorten backs award for Australian doctor’s Thai rescue bravery