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Thailand cave rescue Brit diver says: 'We are not heroes'

13 July 2018
Thailand cave rescue Brit diver says: 'We are not heroes'

Details also emerged about the rescue, with the boys sedated and passed on stretchers along the twisting, narrow passageways, and tributes flowed for the worldwide team of rescuers who never gave up in the quest to save the team.

Another video released on Facebook by the Thai Navy SEALs, who were central to the rescue, showed one of the boys being carried through part of the muddy cave on a stretcher covered by an emergency thermal blanket.

The water pumps failed, and Commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong heard shouts of alarm as the final stage of an unprecedented operation to rescue 12 Thai boys and their coach from a flooded cave nearly tipped into disaster.

He lauded the co-operation between Thai and global rescuers.

The group was overdue June 23 after they failed to return from a visit to the cave complex.

The boys are in isolation in hospital to prevent infections by outsiders, but family members have seen some of them from behind a glass screen, and after a period of time with no problems, the family members will be allowed closer while dressed in sterilised clothing.

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

But they also stressed that they are not yet pursuing most of the families of the boys, who on Wednesday remained recuperating in hospital.

Doctors, divers and other rescuers were posted along the twisting corridors monitoring the boys as they were passed through using a system of ropes, pulleys and rubber piping. The boys, on average, lost around four pounds each, the AP says. "That's [why] they really [had] to speed up the rescue operation and that's how we got more global experts coming and [joining] hands in this operation". The managing director, who is married to a Thai woman who knew the former Navy SEAL that died on the mission, said it could be a movie that "inspires millions" and that he sees it being a "major Hollywood film with A-list stars".

"Suddenly the Australian guy who was overseeing that area started shouting that the water pump had stopped working", Chaiyananta told AFP. "This mission was successful because of cooperation from everyone", he said.

Thai health officials said the boys and their coach survived by drinking water dripping inside the Tham Luang cave, the Associated Press reports.

"It might be because they were all together as a team", public health ministry inspector general Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong told reporters.

"All Wild Boars Saved", read one headline. Last night a 14-year-old member of the trapped football team was also hailed as a hero.

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

The movie would comparable to the 2015 film "The 33" starring Antonio Banderas, detailing the 2010 rescue of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for over three months.

But they were prodded into the risky task of bringing the team through submerged chambers and claustrophobic passages as oxygen levels in the cave plummeted and rains menaced.

Thai Navy SEALs release footage of the dramatic cave rescue mission.