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Thai Miracle: All 12 boys and football coach safe after heroic rescue

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Thai Miracle: All 12 boys and football coach safe after heroic rescue

Thai Miracle: All 12 boys and football coach safe after heroic rescue
July 13
12:13 2018
Courtesy ABC News

The plight of the boys and their coach has captivated not only Thailand, but much of the world — from the heart-sinking news that they were missing, to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys when they were found 10 days later by a pair of British divers.

They were trapped in the Tham Luang cave on June 23, when they were exploring it after a soccer practice session and it became flooded by monsoon rains.

Each of the boys, aged 11 to 16 and with no diving experience, was guided out by a pair of divers in three days of intricate and high-stakes operations.

Cave-diving experts had warned it was potentially too risky to dive the youngsters out.
But Thai officials, acutely aware the boys could be trapped for months by monsoon rains that would swell waters in the cave system, seized a window of opportunity provided by relatively mild weather.
A massive water pumping effort also made the winding cave more navigable.

The confidence of the diving team, and expertise specific to the cave, grew after its first successful mission.
“We did something nobody thought possible,” Chiang Rai province acting Governor Narongsak Osatanakorn, leader of the rescue effort, said at a celebratory news conference.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, speaking before the final rescue was completed, said the boys were given an anti-anxiety medication to help with their perilous removal from the cave.

“It’s called anxiolytic, something to make them not excited, not stressed,” Mr Prayuth said.
Mr Prayuth said the Tham Luang cave would be closed for some time to make it safe for visitors.
The eight boys brought out by divers on Sunday and Monday were doing well and were in good spirits, a senior health official said.

They were given a treat on Tuesday: bread with chocolate spread that they had requested.
Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, said the first four boys rescued were able to eat normal food, though they couldn’t yet take the spicy dishes favoured by many Thais.

Two of the boys possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally “healthy and smiling”, he said.
“The kids are footballers, so they have high immune systems,” Mr Jedsada said.

“Everyone is in high spirits and is happy to get out. But we will have a psychiatrist to evaluate them.”
A patient list revealing the identity of the second group that were rescued from the cave.

It could be at least seven days before they can be released from the hospital, Mr Jedsada told a news conference.
If medical tests show no dangers, after another two days, parents will be able to enter the isolation area dressed in sterilised clothing and staying two metres away from the boys, said Tosthep Bunthong, a public health official.

One of soccer’s most popular teams, Manchester United, expressed its relief over the rescue and invited the boys and their coach, as well as those who saved them, to come see them play on their home ground this season.

The international soccer federation, FIFA, had already invited the boys to attend the World Cup final in Russia this Sunday.

However, doctors treating the boys said it would be too soon for them to make the trip.

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