Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Thailand cave rescue: Brit divers who found boys 'deserve George Cross'

Thailand cave rescue: Brit divers who found boys 'deserve George Cross'

The boys, now in quarantine, are in good health, say the authorities.

"The bravery and heroism I've witnessed is incredibly inspiring, so, yes, this will be a movie for us", said CEO and co-founder Michael Scott, who lives in Thailand part-time and was on the scene of the rescue. Relatively mild weather and a massive effort to pump out water created a window of opportunity.

Dr Harris, who has 30 years of cave-diving experience and is known for his ability to retrieve people from hard places, had come up with the idea of giving the boys, many of whom can not swim, a mild sedative to ensure they did not panic while underwater, the Daily Mail reported.

Cylinders placed at locations throughout the cave for replenishing the boys' air supply were "jammed" with 80 per cent oxygen instead of regular air because "that would plus up their oxygen saturation levels and that would be really good for them, their mental state", he said. But family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass barrier, and after a period of time with no problems, the family members would be allowed closer while dressed in sterilized clothing.

The four boys rescued first are "well, they're up and about", Sky News' southeast Asia correspondent, Siobhan Robbins, said. Wetsuits and scuba gear still hung along a walkway at the entrance Wednesday, waiting to be sorted by Thai Navy officials. Seasonal monsoon rains flooded the vast cave complex unexpectedly and cut off their exit route. The search operation quickly turned into a rescue mission involving 90 divers - 50 foreign and 40 Thai - though some warned it could take months.

In the end, the thin line between success and possible failure in the Thai cave rescue came down to a matter of hours.

At the final press conference for the rescue mission Wednesday, mission commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn paid tribute to Harris. "Without him, in this operation, I don't think we could have succeeded".

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More than 90 divers helped with the rescue as well as many other volunteers.

Rescue officials said the museum would showcase how the operation unfolded, adding that it would be a "major attraction" for Thailand.

The most unsafe part of the journey out of the labyrinthine cave system was the first kilometer, during which they were required to squeeze through a narrow flooded channel.

A former member of Thailand's navy SEAL unit died during a mission in the cave on Friday. "I'm happy that the boys are out too", Khamluh Guntawong, grandfather of the team coach Ekkapol Chantawong, said. "All the 13 Wild Boars are now out of the cave", the Thai Navy SEAL team that led the rescue posted on Facebook after completing its mission, Reuters reported.

Kanthawong said he just wanted to support the team now that the players were out.

"We made them relaxed and calm and slowly moved them out".

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