Coach Ekk inset starved himself so his team would have more food. Source 7 NewsMore
13 July, 2018, 05:43
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. The boys range in age from 11 to 16. "Thank you so much to everyone that has been praying for us and the boys and helping us; thank you".
The nerve-shredding three-day operation ended on Tuesday when the final members of the "Wild Boars" were freed from the cave which had held them captive since June 23.
"If it rains, the water level goes up in two hours and we can't tell what the water is doing inside, so you thought you were doing a half-hour dive and now you are doing a two-hour dive, and do you have gas for that?"
The footage, which was posted on the Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page and captioned "the operation the world never forgets", appears to show the workers carrying the boys on stretchers. Angle warned that if the boys continue to be defined as the kids who were rescued from the cave, it could become the singular characteristic of their identities. On Tuesday authorities said some of the boys had asked to eat bread with chocolate spread, but mostly they'll be given a food similar to milk which is rich in proteins and nutrients.
The first photographs of the boys recovering in a Chiang Rai hospital were released Wednesday.
But they pressed on and, on July 8, the rescue began. Thongchai said no one is blaming the coach, the last to be evacuated from the cave, for his decision to take the boys inside for a hike after soccer practice. Wetsuits and scuba gear still hung along a walkway at the entrance Wednesday, waiting to be sorted by Thai Navy officials.
Rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters today that the entire operation would not have been possible without the unique skills that Harris brought to the mission, though he did not elaborate.
"We just needed them to know how to breathe and not panic in the water", he said. They would then need to recuperate at home for 30 days, he said.
Five Seals and 13 foreign divers worked together to rescue the boys. To swim through the flooded tunnels, which could get as narrow as 15 inches, one diver held the front end of the stretcher, along with the boy's oxygen tank, while another held the rear end of the stretcher.
The story of the Thai boys lost and found and finally rescued has all the makings of a Hollywood drama, capped with a happy outcome, and film companies are scrambling to buy their story.
Questions will remain as to why the team, led by their 25-year-old coach, went into the caves during the rainy season - it is common knowledge that it is a unsafe time to enter, and signs at the entrance specifically warn of the dangers of monsoon rains.