Monday, 18 February, 2019

British diver recalls ‘massive, massive relief’ when he found missing Thai boys

Footage of divers pulling the last boys to safety from the flooded cave Footage of divers pulling the last boys to safety from the flooded
Adrian Cunningham | 14 July, 2018, 05:39

"I want to tell the guys that I miss them and that I want to hug them", Wild Boars teammate Supaghid Pragaihong told news agency Agence France-Presse. "While they were inside the cave it rained, water flowed in and everyone took off", Banpot said.

Divers who rescued the 13 members of the Thai soccer team that had been trapped in a cave for over two weeks first practiced on local children in a swimming pool.

The youth football players, who remain in hospital, reportedly told their parents, that they had barely begun their trek when flooding suddenly blocked their exit, forcing them further into the Luang Nang Non Cave in Chiang Rai.

In the clip, they are visibly overjoyed, smiling broadly at the British diving team.

"We're just very happy that the boys are out and safe", he said. "In our country, you have so many friends".

The footage came as various outlets reported the boys and their soccer coach were sedated to prevent them from panicking or struggling as divers ferried them through black waters and cliff sides.

After landing at Heathrow on Thursday, Volanthen spoke of the relief he had felt at making contact with the boys.

Fellow British rescuers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton said that Dr Richard "Harry" Harris had a great relationship with the boys while they were trapped in the cave system, the Herald Sun reports. What we do is very calculating, very calm. "It's quite the opposite" of being a hero. "So we're pleased with that".

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"The result is the important thing", he added.

Volanthen praised the entire worldwide rescue team, which included 90 of the best scuba divers from around the world, for saving the group, who became trapped when monsoon rains struck on June 23 and flooded their exit.

The discovery prompted the stunning rescue of the boys which captivated Thailand and the world, with the final members finally emerging safely Tuesday after 18 days underground.

Said the SEAL Navy commander: "It was hard but we had to keep fighting".

He said "relief is the word I would use" to describe the moment he and Stanton found the group.

"The pressure that was put on these guys was enormous and they never dropped the ball for a second", Dr Harris said in a Facebook post detailing the operation.

In the end, the tech multi-billionaire wasn't needed, as a team of Thai Navy Seals and British divers managed to get the boys back to their families.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said on Wednesday the operation was nothing short of a miracle. "He's got a very good bedside manner. So, that seemed to work".