All 13 were brought to safety over the course of a three-day rescue, organized by Thai navy SEALs and an worldwide team of cave-diving experts.
The youth football players, who remain in hospital, reportedly told their parents, that they had barely begun their trek when flooding suddenly blocked their exit, forcing them further into the Luang Nang Non Cave in Chiang Rai. "The water flow was strong", said Banphot.
The British divers who blazed the trail were praised by Australian doctor-diver Richard Harris, who stayed in the cave for three days to oversee the medical care of the boys while they were waiting to be rescued.
Volanthen praised the entire global rescue team, which included 90 of the best scuba divers from around the world, for saving the group, who became trapped when monsoon rains struck on June 23 and flooded their exit. The boys, aged 11 to 16, had to dive for part of their journey out before they were put on green plastic toboggan-like stretchers and carried, at times through steep, rocky tunnels, with ropes, strung overhead.
In a post on Instagram on Jul 7, a day after his death, Kunan's widow, Valeepoan Kunan wrote:: "You'll always be with me. there's no one like you. if you're not with me, I don't want to go on breathing. because we promised each other we would use the same breathe".
She said her son, nicknamed Tun, said the boys' 25-year-old soccer coach Ekapol "Ake" Chanthawong, told them to meditate to ease their hunger and save their energy.
"He was very hungry with such great pain in his stomach that he cried and drank water dripping along cave fissures", she said.
The boys were described as generally being in normal condition in a Chiang Rai hospital, though their levels of recuperation varied because they were removed from the cave over three days. They will stay in hospital at least a week.
He warned relatives of the boys to resist giving interviews to media over fears they could have a negative impact on their mental health.
Members of the Thai Navy SEALs team arrived home to their base at Sattahip, feted by the Thai people but saddened by the loss of their colleague.
John Volanthen, one of the two British divers who found the boys, played down the gallantry.
Mr Volanthen's mother, Jill, said: "We are absolutely so proud, but my sympathy is with the wife and family of the diver who lost his life".
"What we do is very calculating".
"We were very, very pleased it worked out quite so well".
Expert divers from the Thai Navy SEALs, experienced in conventional diving situations, were faced with an unprecedented challenge. Those handprints were among the first signs of where the boys were, what they had done to escape the floods, and what dangers rescuers would face in their mission to save the boys and their coach.
"How many of you?" he asked, a torch beam scanning the boys crowded on the bank.
The head of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, has stated that the world should remember him as the true hero of the 17-day operation.
Health officials say the rescued boys will be hospitalized for at least seven days, but they have been cleared to eat normal food. The boys became trapped in the cave on 23 June after heavy rains caused flooding, but were found alive last week by divers.
Most recently, his stepson Riza Aziz was also called into the MACC's headquarters today for questioning relating to the scandal. It follows an investigation into how billions of dollars went missing from a state fund - which he founded a decade ago.
Abdullah reportedly said that unveiling the plan without coordinating with the Palestinians would be a "catastrophe". Abbas appealed to the Prince and the British people to support the Palestinian campaign for independence.
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Sweden and Germany are tied at 3 points, so a Mexico win or tie will automatically send them into the elimination stage. Captain Andreas Granqvist puts the ball beyond the reach of Guillermo Ochoa to double the advantage for his side.
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