Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Rising waters, no air: How Thai cave rescue nearly went wrong

Rising waters, no air: How Thai cave rescue nearly went wrong

A Thai government official says all 12 boys and their coach are doing well after their rescue from the Tham Luang cave.

Despite the ordeal, the boys seem to be in fairly good shape, according to Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, an inspector for Thailand's health department.

The boys lost about two kilograms each the doctors said, or about 4.4 pounds.

Although the boys were found safe, the water levels and complexity of the cave system meant rescuers weren't able to retrieve the first four boys until July 8, more than two weeks' after they went missing.

Managing partner Michael Scott, who lives in Thailand and was at the rescue site in Chiang Rai as the boys were being pulled to safety, made the announcement late Tuesday on Twitter.

Harris signed off on the health of the boys before each rescue began and did not emerge from the cave until each day's rescue had been completed.

Despite spending days in the dark, dank cave, the boys - aged 11 to 16 - are in good physical and mental health and eating normal food, said health officials.

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Several boys can be seen in facemasks and hospital gowns, at least one giving a victory sign for the camera.

In this photo taken from video released by Thailand government, family members watch the rescued boys through a window at the Chiang Rai hospital in northern Thailand, Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

"The recovery process should take around 30 days after they are discharged", he added.

But it is also possible they are an infection risks to others.

The doctor said three of the boys were being treated for minor cases of pneumonia, but said most would be discharged after about a week.

Hospital footage of the children was released during a press conference held by the rescue chief, acting Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, who has praised the children as "heroes".

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

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Brainy Adul Sam-on speaks five languages, allowing him to translate for the rescue divers.

Thailand's navy SEALs, who played a central part in the rescue effort, wrote on their Facebook page: "We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what".

Contrary to the idea that the children would swim out, they appear to be motionless in the video as they are passed along a chain of rescuers including Thai navy personnel and volunteers from around the world.

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

He added that everyone worked together without concerns about race or religion, as the goal was to save the young football team.

The aim was to make each of the boys "tightly packaged" so divers could keep control of them and adjust their air supply as needed. Hai Do was the editor. Alice Bryant adapted them for Learning English.

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