Thai cave rescue: Australian medic, last to leave cave, loses dad

Rex Christensen
July 11, 2018

An worldwide team of divers, including the Thai Navy SEALS, had to make sure the boys knew how to swim - it took divers five hours just to reach the point where the boys had hunkered down.

"All 4 Thai Navy SEALS came out safely..."

A statement read: "We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. Everyone is safe", the SEALs wrote on Facebook.

The disappearance, discovery and rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team has gripped people all over the world.

"We did something nobody thought possible", Chiang Rai province acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, leader of the rescue effort, said at a celebratory news conference.

19 divers are said to be involved in the operation, which began at just after 10:00am local time.

A total of 13 people, 12 boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach, were initially trapped in the flooded cave since June 23. The rainfall causes water levels inside the cave to rise. None of the boys had ever dived before.

"Although his technology is good and sophisticated, it's not practical for this mission", the rescue chief said.

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The last three members of the "Wild boar" football team and their coach was rescued today ending a three day rescue attempt that had caught the world's attention.

Rescue efforts over the last few days have managed to bring eight out of the 12 boys to safety, with divers going in and out of the caves to rescue them in groups of four.

By this past weekend, more than 100 divers, as well as support and medical staff, were at the scene as the first boys were brought out.

Federation Internationale de Football Association also expressed condolences to the family of a Thai Navy SEAL who died after running out of oxygen during the rescue operation on Friday.

One tragic expedition in 2011, involved the retrieval of the body of his friend, Agnes Milowka, who ran out of air during a cave dive in South Australia. "Everyone is in high spirits and is happy to get out".

Thongchai said one from the last group rescued on Tuesday had a lung infection and they were all were given vaccinations for rabies and tetanus. They underwent X-rays and blood tests and will remain under observation in the hospital for at least seven days. Having completed this section, the boys are then handed over to separate, specialist rescue teams, who help assist them through the remainder of the cave, much of which they can wade through.

This mini-submarine may not sound like the most practical or comfortable way to escape a flooded cave, but it's important to note that the trapped kids were not able to swim and had become weak from malnutrition and exhaustion, and none of them had any scuba diving experience, CNN reported. George Grow adapted his story for Learning English, with additional information from the Associated Press and the Reuters news agency.

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