Monday, 23 July, 2018

Tragic family loss for Australian doctor behind Thai cave rescues

Soccer Coach's Training as Buddhist Monk Helps Get Thai Boys in Cave Thai rescue: Operation resumes on day 3 to free final 5 from cave
Gerardo Duncan | 11 July, 2018, 07:30

Another post, confirming the rescue of all 13 stranded members of the team, said: "We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what".

The boys won't attend the World Cup final.

The first four boys were rescued on Sunday, but only after a former Thai Navy SEAL diver had died two days earlier when he ran out of oxygen while trying to prepare the boys' escape route.

Rescue workers wearing protection suits wait for some of the rescued schoolboys at military airport in Chiang Rai on Monday. Helicopters transporting the boys roared overhead. "And actually just everyone in the world because every news channel has presented this story and this is what we have been waiting for".

"This is the hardest mission we've ever done".

Amporn Sriwichai, an aunt of rescued coach Ekkapol Chantawong, was ecstatic. "But when I saw that he was alive and breathing and seemed to be alright, it felt very good".

Two British divers found them nine days later huddled on a muddy ledge in pitch darkness more than 4km inside the cave system.

The children, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach had ventured into the Tham Lung cave in the mountainous area of northern Thailand on Jun 23 but got trapped when heavy rains caused flooding that blocked their exit.

Thai Navy Seals give the thumbs up after a job well done.

Cave-diving experts had warned diving the youngsters out was potentially too risky. A massive effort to pump out water made the winding passageways more navigable.

The leader of the operation, acting governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, who had previously dubbed it "Mission Impossible", said it had become "Mission Possible for Team Thailand".

The rescue effort involved Thai and global agencies.

Numerous boys could not even swim and none of them had diving experience, so the rescuers trained them how to use a mask and breathe underwater via an oxygen tank.

Asked at a news conference in Bangkok if the boys had been sedated, Prayuth said: "Who would chloroform them? It's called anxiolytic, something to make them not excited, not stressed".

But Prayuth said that the cave would be closed to the public for a while until "everything is in order".

The first four emerged on Sunday, then next four on Monday and then the final five about 8pm local time on Tuesday evening. They received a treat on Tuesday: bread with chocolate spread that they had requested. They have been kept in a sterilised isolation unit, required to eat soft, plain, and non-spicy food, and are not allowed to watch TV. "But we will have a psychiatrist evaluate them". They underwent X-rays and blood tests and will remain under observation in the hospital for at least seven days.

It was clear doctors were taking a cautious approach.

Manchester City and England defender Kyle Walker, whose team faces Croatia in the second semi-final later on Wednesday, said he wanted to send shirts to the boys.

President Donald Trump hailed the rescue.

ELON Musk came to Thailand with his mini-sub and a plan to help in the soccer team rescue - but his offer was bluntly dismissed by the Thai Government. "Such a handsome moment - all freed, great job!"

While each member of the team and their coach survived the traumatic rescue after over two weeks submerged underground, one rescuer was killed last week due to a lack of oxygen.

A message posted on the English Premier League club's Twitter account said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected".

The boys of the Wild Boar football team were brought out in three daring rescue operations starting on Sunday morning.

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