Parents wait to hug sons as details of risky Thai rescue emerge

Brunilde Fioravanti
Luglio 12, 2018

"Most of the boys lost an average of two kg", Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, an inspector for Thailand's health department, told reporters on Wednesday.

On Monday, July 2, nine days after becoming trapped, a group of divers found the boys 600 yards away from Pattaya Beach, an elevated rock mound within the cave system that is oftentimes used by those inside the cave when flooding occurs.

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.

Thailand is to give full citizenship to three of the rescued boys and their football coach, whose position as refugees has left them stateless.

"To not receive food, we can still survive for many months, but what's necessary is water, which the cave has, and around this time there's a lot in the cave, and they chose clean water to drink", he said. Some made the two-finger victory sign from their hospital beds.

He showed remorse in a note to the boys" parents that rescuers brought out of the cave, apologising and vowing to take "the very best care' of the boys.

Four Thai Navy Seals are seen after leaving the cave safe during the rescue mission, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand July 10, 2018 in this photo obtained from social media. The family members were not allowed to enter the room where they are being treated, in order to avoid infection, Dr Chaiyawej Thanapaisarn said. All of them have higher leukocyte (white blood cell) levels than normal, but they have been given antibiotics to treat any infection.

Chaiwetch Thanapaisal is director of Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital.

Despite their mostly good health, all the boys need to be observed in the hospital for seven days and then rest at home for another 30 days.

The group were taken out in three batches by a team of 13 global divers flanked by the Thai Navy SEALs, who greeted each successful rescue with a "Hooyah" on their Facebook page.

Mr Volanthen also paid tribute to Thai navy diver Saman Kunan, who died while replenishing oxygen canisters, saying his death brought a "bittersweet" taste to an otherwise "excellent" operation.

But the mission, which leaned on the expertise of elite foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALs, almost turned into a calamity. He ran out of air while trying to swim out of the cave.

Pure Flix's Managing Partner Michael Scott, who resides in Thailand and went on site during the rescue operation took to Twitter on Tuesday to make the company's announcement on the movie.

Concerns are already being raised on social media that the movie could be "white-washed", focusing more on the global characters while downplaying the role of Thais. "We just did what we could", he said yesterday.

He added that everyone worked together without concerns about race or religion, as the goal was to save the young football team.

Each of the boys, ages 11-16 and with no diving experience, was guided out by divers though rocky, muddy and water-filled passages that in places were just a crawl space.

After days of mounting speculation, a former Thai Navy SEAL diver broke the silence, revealing the boys were sleeping or partially-conscious as they were passed from diver-to-diver through the cave.

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