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Thai Boys Wave to the World in First Video Since Their Rescue
13 July 2018, 11:32 | Henrietta Morgan
Thailand cave rescue: Brit divers who found boys 'deserve George Cross' | Daily Star
Now that the entire Wild Boars soccer team has been rescued from the Tham Luang cave in Thailand and brought to the safety of a nearby hospital, new questions have arise about the boys' future and the best ways to help them get back to normalcy.
Rescuers pulled off the miraculous life-saving mission despite daunting odds over the course of three dramatic days, successfully completing the operation on Tuesday when the last four boys and their coach were removed from the cave.
A former Thai navy SEAL told Agence France-Presse that the 12 boys were partially sedated, fitted with a full face mask and passed from diver to diver through the cave complex in stretchers.
The hashtag #Hooyah was hugely popular on social media with people showing their support for the hundreds of rescuers, including divers from around the world, who helped to get the boys out.
Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osatanakorn announced on Monday that the boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach were being rescued from Tham Luang Nang Non cave after they were discovered by naval special forces and the challenge now will be to extract the party safely.
"Some of them were asleep, some of them were wiggling their fingers".
He said the children hadn't eaten any food in the nine days before they were found, and drank murky water from inside the cave, which saved them.
The exact mechanics of the rescue bid were closely guarded during the operation, but details have since dribbled out.
The rescue mission was indeed a highly risky one as a retired Thai Navy SEAL diver died last Friday (July 6) when he ran out of oxygen in the flooded cave.
"Suddenly the Australian guy who was overseeing that area started shouting that the water pump had stopped working", Chaiyananta told AFP.
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That left 20 or so divers scrambling to flee the rising waters, he said, explaining they narrowly made it out time.
Thailand spent yesterday celebrating the successful mission. "Most of the boys lost an average of two kg", Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, an inspector for Thailand's health department, told reporters on Wednesday.
Closer to home, Chiang Rai locals rejoiced at the odds-upsetting rescue bid.
Derek Anderson, a 32-year-old rescue specialist with the U.S. Air Force based in Okinawa, Japan, said that at times during the risky rescue, the boys had to be put into harnesses and high-lined across the rocky caverns.
There were several options as to how to save the boys, including keeping them in the cave until the monsoon season was over. Falling oxygen levels, risk of sickness and the imminent prospect of more rain flooding the cave complex for months meant "the long-term survivability of the boys in the cave was becoming a less and less feasible option", Anderson said.
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