Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Australian diver opens up for about Thai soccer team rescue

Australian diver opens up for about Thai soccer team rescue

All 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand are recovering well from their ordeal and eagerly awaiting a chance to enjoy their favorite delicacies.

"The world is watching", said Kham-oey Promthep, 64, grandmother of 13-year-old Duangpetch "Dom" Promthep, captain of the Wild Boars soccer team.

The 12 youngsters and their football coach were not told that Saman Kunan had drowned ahead of their dramatic rescue from the Tham Luang cavern just days ago.

"It is with great sadness that I confirm Harry's dad passed away last night a short time after the successful rescue operation in Thailand, ' said Andrew Pearce, Dr Harris" boss and MedSTAR clinical director.

"We were very relieved that they were all alive but I think at that point we realised the enormity of the situation and that's perhaps why it took a while to get them all out".

The three-day, global rescue operation was successful, and the boys are being held in quarantine while they recover from minor injuries and regain their strength.

"The boys need to go back to their normal life, to their daily routines, in order to fully appreciate that the threat is over", said Danese, who heads the institute's stress and development laboratory.

Doctors say the boys will be released from the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital on Thursday after donning surgical masks to ward off infection.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said it took an incredible team effort to rescue the boys, with Dr Harris playing a key role.

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But speaking to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull via FaceTime, Dr Harris said the "big heroes" were the 12 children themselves, and the Thai Navy SEAL divers who looked after them in the cave.

The father of 14-year-old Ekkarat Wongsukchan said the coach dived into the water to see their circumstances once they became trapped, and drew arrows on the cave wall so no one became lost.

A hospital statement said that as the boys continue to recover, they remain susceptible to infectious disease.

Dr Harris assessed the health of the boys and their coach, determining who needed to get out of the cave quickest and who could wait longer.

Adul is perhaps the best known of the boys because he was the one speaking English in the video taken inside the cave when the team members were first found by two British cave divers July 2, almost 10 days after being trapped by flooding.

The media-shy 53-year-old was hailed for an ingenious medical idea that helped the trapped boys stay calm during the gruelling 1.7km swim to the surface.

Samarn Kunan, 38, a former member of the elite SEALs unit, was the only casualty in the operation.

The Thai Navy Seals after the rescue operation.

He added that the team would be working to support Harris and his family, and requested they be given time and space to grieve.

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