Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

India's crucial, yet unknown help in Thai Cave Rescue mission

India's crucial, yet unknown help in Thai Cave Rescue mission

He credited Australian medic and diver Dr. Richard "Harry" Harris and three Thai Navy SEALs for staying with the boys and coach deep in the cave and keeping them calm and encouraged while plans were being hatched to get them out.

Twelve boys and their soccer coach rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand planned to explore the cavern complex for only about an hour before treacherous flood waters rose to trap them for more than two weeks, one of the boys' fathers said.

During the mission to save the boys, a former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunam died after volunteering to lend his expertise.

Having completed this section, the boys were then handed over to separate, specialist rescue teams, who helped them through the remainder of the cave, much of which they could wade through. In the video, Volanthen is heard talking to the group, telling them at the time that they had been in the cave for 10 days and that many rescuers were coming to save them.

Some of the rescued boys in hospital.

Now, the boys are in the hospital where new video shows them sitting up in their beds.

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"My job was to transfer them along", he said, adding the "boys were wrapped up in stretchers already when they were being transferred" and were monitored at regular intervals by doctors posted along the kilometres-long escape route.

Erik Brown, a Canadian who was one of 13 foreign expert divers in a core team of 18, said he was terrified as he swam, crawled and waded through the labyrinthine cave.

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. "I want to see the face of my child and embrace him and ask him how he feels and how he's doing". It was barely days after the Wild Boars were rescued that a Thai cave rescue movie was announced to be in development. All appear in good health and with no serious infections, officials said. With the help of 16 other divers, they ferried the boys and their coach to safety through intense stretches of water.

Initially, authorities thought they faced a reasonably easy task in getting the boy outs, but rescue efforts were quickly thwarted by rain and rising water levels inside the partially flooded passageways. All were improving quickly, the country's top public health official had said.

There were about a hundred people inside the cave for each rescue operation, Anderson said, and each boy was handled by dozens of people as their perilous movement through a total of nine chambers unfolded.

"The world just needs to know that what was accomplished was a once in a lifetime rescue that I think has never been done before", Anderson said.

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