Thai boys sedated, stretchered from cave in dramatic rescue

Clay Curtis
July 12, 2018

On Wednesday a few hundred Thai schoolchildren gathered opposite the hospital, looking up at the building that will be home to the rescued football team for the coming days.

Hospital footage of the children was released during a press conference held by the rescue chief, acting Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, who has praised the children as "heroes". "Everyone is strong in mind and heart". The third and final group, including the soccer team's 25-year-old coach, who were all evacuated Tuesday, are taking antibiotics and at least some had lung infections.

Parents waved from behind a glass barrier, some tearfully, their faces bright with emotion.

None of the first group of four boys to emerge has a fever, and the two boys that had lung infections are improving.

Thai navy SEALs posted a almost six-minute video on their Facebook page that shows rescue workers pass along green stretchers in which the boys were being transported.

A Thai government official says all 12 boys and their coach are doing well after their rescue from the Tham Luang cave. According to reports, all 12 boys of a child soccer team and their assistant coach have been rescued and evacuated to a hospital, 13 members of a youth soccer team including their assistant coach have been trapped in Tham Luang cave since 23 June 2018. They were found by a pair of British divers 10 days later, huddled on a small, dry shelf just above the water, smiling with relief but visibly skinny. "The coach was the one to choose", he said.

The complex, high-risk mission for global and Thai divers to guide the boys and coach through the cave's flooded and tight passageways had riveted people worldwide. Highlighting the dangers, a former Thai navy SEAL volunteering to work on the rescue died Friday while replenishing oxygen canisters placed along the escape route.

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The extensive search-and-rescue operation, which included more than 1,000 people from various nations, has now switched to a treatment process.

Footage of divers pulling the last boys to safety from the flooded cave.

Police officers took photographs of each other at the massive cave entrance, as pumps continued to suck out huge volumes of water. "This mission was successful because of cooperation from everyone", he said. And the confidence of the diving team, and expertise specific to the cave, grew after its first successful mission Sunday.

That left 20 or so divers scrambling to flee the rising waters, he said, explaining they narrowly made it out time.

A Thai health official said earlier Wednesday that the soccer teammates had lost weight during their two-week ordeal, but had water while they were trapped and remained in good health.

Elsewhere, Duangduen Sittiwongsa, a classmate of 16-year-old Pheeraphat "Night" Sompiengjai, whose birthday fell on the same day the team entered the cave, said they would give him cake and gifts when he returned to school.

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