Water level surged as Thai cave rescue almost ended in disaster

Doctor Richard Harris right with his dive partner Craig Challen

Derek Anderson, a 32-year-old rescue specialist with the U.S. Air Force based in Okinawa, Japan, said the dozen boys, ranging in age from 11 to 16, and their coach, who were trapped for more than two weeks before being rescued this week, were "incredibly resilient".

The Thai Navy SEALs posted a video on Facebook showing the group when they were first found.

Parents are still waiting to be reunited with their sons two days after the last members of a youth football team were extracted from a cave in northern Thailand, as details of the high-risk rescue operation have started to emerge.

"We don't see the children as at fault or as heroes".

Flanked by other members of the dive rescue team, Mr Stanton was asked about his emotions when the boys were found and replied: "Initially, of course, excitement".

The twelfth boy and the coach were freed from the complex late Tuesday, after a complicated three-day operation to extricate the boys, who became trapped on June 23 when rising flood water cut off the exit, deep inside the cave.

Mr Stanton admitted that made the task more hard. Ten days later, an worldwide rescue team of cave experts and Thai military personnel manage to reach the boys and begin a process of evacuating them along a long and hard six-hour route. "This makes the current inside quite strong, and because it's constantly flowing the water is murky", a Thai officer involved in the mission told Reuters, declining to be named as he wasn't authorised to speak to the media. "What we do is very calculating, very calm".

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First Visuals Of Thai Boys In Hospital After Being Rescued From Cave
UK football team Manchester United invited the team as well as their rescuers to the Old Trafford stadium next season. Water pumps failed hours after the last boy was saved, sending rescue workers scrambling out for safety.

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A screen grab from a July 11 handout video shows boys rescued from the Thai cave wearing masks and resting in a hospital in Chiang Rai, Thailand. "Everybody pulled together and the results speak for themselves, so we're just very happy that the boys are out and safe", Volanthen told reporters.

"They are the ones who were responsible for their own morale and really their own safety and without them being in the state they were in we couldn't have done anything".

The footage came as various outlets reported the boys and their soccer coach were sedated to prevent them from panicking or struggling as divers ferried them through black waters and cliff sides.

"They just sat quietly without doing anything because it was dark", said Banpot, recounting what his son, who is still in hospital, had told him. "He's got a very good bedside manner".

But he had denied they were knocked out for an operation the chief of the rescue had dubbed "mission impossible". "So, that seemed to work". A rescue volunteer, former Thai navy SEAL Saman Kunan, died during the operation when he ran out of oxygen.

"It's about the triumphs of individuals and groups of human beings over tragedy", Medavoy said.

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