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Thai boys sedated, stretchered from cave in dramatic rescue

Thai boys sedated, stretchered from cave in dramatic rescue

All are recovering at a hospital in northern Thailand's Chiang Rai province, where video showed several of them in seemingly good spirits, waving and flashing peace signs to the camera.

"I want this warm hug once again", his widow Valeepoan said on Instagram, posting a photo of her and Saman embracing.

"They are the toughest blokes and kids I've ever had the privilege to meet", he said.

The father of Richard Harris, a key member of the team of worldwide experts involved in the dramatic rescue mission, died soon after all the boys were freed.

All are now recovering in hospital after the ordeal.

"The 13 must have taken cared of each other very well [inside the cave]", Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong said.

Parents of the first eight boys freed have been able to visit them but had to wear protective suits and stand 2 meters (7 feet) away as a precaution.

But while they are out of the cave, and doing just fine - considering what has transpired - the "Wild Boars" football team members and their coach have a way to go yet before their lives return to a semblance of normality.

Members of the Thai navy SEAL team who were among the first searchers to penetrate the watery depth of Tham Luang Nang Non cave and the last divers out flew Thursday to their base at Sattahip on the Gulf of Thailand, where they received a heroes' welcome.




Police officers took photographs of each other at the massive cave entrance, as pumps continued to suck out huge volumes of water. "Thank you, Richard and thank you, Australia!"

"Harry is a quiet and kind man who did not think twice about offering his support on this mission".

One of them, John Volanthen, and another British diver, Jason Mallison, met before they departed with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who presented each of them with a souvenir medal, a polo shirt and a lacquered wooden box marked with an official emblem.

"This is clearly a time of grief for the Harris family, magnified by the physical and emotional demands of being part of this week's highly complex and ultimately successful rescue mission".

When the Wild Boars football team was located deep inside the cave, after being missing for a week, the Adelaide anaesthetist abandoned his holiday in Thailand and volunteered to help. "We just did what we could", he said yesterday.

During the roughly nine-hour rescue operation, the boys were underwater for four to six hours, according to Jedsada Chokedamrongsook, the permanent secretary of the Thai Health Ministry.

At least three of the boys in the team as well as their coach are stateless refugees and might have restricted travel rights, Reuters has reported.

"I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story!"

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