Incredible operation in pictures: All 12 boys, coach rescued from Thailand cave

Lewis Collier
July 12, 2018

Video from inside the Thai cave has emerged, revealing the perilous passageways the rescue workers had to traverse to free the 12 trapped boys and their football coach.

This handout video grab taken from footage released by The Royal Thai Navy late July 2, 2018, shows missing children inside the Tham Luang cave of Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park.

Some of the rescued boys in hospital. "We were extremely fortunate that the outcome was the way it was".

Thongchai said no one is blaming the coach, the last one to come out of the cave, for his decision to take the boys inside on June 23. The boys, their faces covered by green surgical masks, flashed the V-for-Victory sign as they sat up in bed and chatted with their nurses, at times responding with the customary Thai sign of respect - hands pressed together while bowing the head. The youngest boy, 11, appeared to be asleep under a crisp white sheet. He said, "Don't need to worry about their physical health and even more so for their mental health".

But as a whole, "everybody is doing well", Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, a public health inspector, told reporters at Wednesday's news conference.

The Thai navy has released new footage from inside the Tham Luang cave, where 12 boys and their coach were trapped for more than two weeks, revealing more details about the multi-day rescue mission that captured the attention of the world.

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"The coach was the one to choose", he said.

The worldwide bid to extract the team garnered attention from around the world after the team found themselves trapped on June 23 when they entered the cave after practice and were blocked by floodwaters.

The global rescue effort, which saw all 12 boys and their coach safely extracted from the flooded cave system after more than two weeks, hit particularly close to home for Scott.

The dangers of the rescue were brought into sharp relief last Friday by the death of a retired Thai Navy SEAL as he ran out off air in the flooded cave complex as the extraction plans were being laid. The diver who spoke to AFP said the boys were "groggy" but "breathing" when he helped to pull them out, while the BBC reported that according to divers, the boys were "heavily sedated to avoid anxiety".

The rescue sparked jubilation with Thais heaping praise on the rescue team of foreign and local divers as the triumphant tagline "Hooyah" pinballed across social media.

Yesterday, the Australian contingent - made up of military personnel and Australian Federal Police divers - revealed they moved more than 20 tonnes of equipment - including oxygen tanks to make the hours-long trek - through the dark tunnels to facilitate the rescue operation.

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