British diver recalls ‘massive, massive relief’ when he found missing Thai boys

Hannah Rogers
July 15, 2018

Twelve Thai boys and their football coach rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand are recovering well and will be discharged from hospital next week, the health minister has said.

British cave diver Richard Stanton arrives at the Tham Luang cave area as rescue operations continue for the 12 boys and their coach trapped at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 6, 2018.

Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn told the press that all 12 boys - aged 11 to 16 - and their 25-year-old coach would be leaving Chiang Rai hospital on the same day, reports Efe news.

Blood tests results showed no signs of infectious diseases that they might have contracted during their weeks stranded deep within a partly flooded cave near the village of Pong Pha. "Don't worry about me now, I'm safe", said 15-year-old Pipat Photi.

They were lost for nine days before divers discovered them on July 2, sitting on a ledge in a half-flooded chamber.

The success of the rescue operation has even stunned its architects - expert divers who battled muddy, rushing floodwaters for days to reach the group and eventually extract them. I want to thank you everybody who give us support and everybody from all over the world who come to helps us.

He added that some of the boys had pneumonia.

A 14-year-old team member nicknamed Note said: "I am in good health now".

However, the courageous South Australian anaesthetist and experienced cave diver has insisted it was very much a team effort, thanking his colleagues and the young boys for their courage. "They have to help each other".

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His statement contradicted an earlier report that the group planned a small birthday party for one of the boys, so they brought food and snacks.

"I want to tell the boys, please don't blame yourselves", Valeepoan told reporters on scene.

"Hello, I am Adul", he said to the camera.

In her latest post on Tuesday, she wrote: "I miss you".

"We're not heroes", he told the BBC after arriving back in London.

According to CNN, Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, a Thai health department inspector, has said the boys were in fairly good condition given the circumstances and that their coach had looked after them well.

And the Thai Navy SEAL diver who died during the rescue effort will get royal recognition by decree of the King of Thailand.

The boys had gone missing while exploring the cave after football practice with their coach on 23 June.

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