Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Rescued Thai boys make victory signs from hospital beds

Rescued Thai boys make victory signs from hospital beds

Richard Harris, a world-renowned medic and diver whose presence in the dramatic rescue of the Wild Boars squad was specially requested by experts, was reportedly the last person to leave the water-logged cavern on Tuesday.

He and Craig Challen were among 20 Australians involved in the Thai-led rescue effort.

The worldwide bid to extract the team garnered attention from around the world after the team found themselves trapped on June 23 when they entered the cave after practice and were blocked by floodwaters.

"The situation went beyond just being a rescue mission and became a symbol of unity among mankind", he said.

Residents in Chiang Rai, the city closest to the caves, took to the streets to celebrate, with drivers honking auto horns and pedestrians dancing outside the hospital where the Wild Boar FC players are now recovering.

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The four boys rescued Sunday have normal heart rates and no fever, and the two of them with lung infections are improving, said Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry. Three boys from the last group saved have ear infections. They were found 10 days later, huddled on a small, dry shelf just above the water, and divers and other global rescuers plotted the complex mission to rescue the team before more rain came.

"We would like to thank everyone for the messages of support we have received following the successful extraction of the team and Royal Thai Navy Seals from the cave", the statement reads. Highlighting the dangers, a former Thai navy SEAL volunteering to work on the rescue died Friday while replenishing oxygen canisters placed along the escape route.

Rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters on Wednesday that the entire operation would not have been possible without the unique skills that Harris brought to the mission, though he did not elaborate. He lauded the cooperation between Thai and global rescuers.

Officials plan an interactive museum at the Tham Luang cave based on the historic rescue mission that will feature items such as clothing that key rescuers wore during the operation, Narongsak said. "Everyone worked together without discrimination of race or religion as the ultimate goal was to save the youth football team".

"My job was to transfer them along", he said, adding the "boys were wrapped up in stretchers already when they were being transferred". "They are children being children, it was an accident", he said.

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