Boys Rescued from Thai Cave in Good Health

Royal Thai Navy rescuers entering the cave

Hospital director Chaiwetch Thanapaisal said all 13 rescued, including the boys' 25-year-old soccer coach, and four Thai Navy SEALs are "well".

The rescue mission was indeed a highly risky one as a retired Thai Navy SEAL diver died last Friday (July 6) when he ran out of oxygen in the flooded cave.

Chiang Rai province acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, who oversaw the rescue operation, said the boys should not be blamed for their near tragedy. They forged deeper into the cave and found a dry, elevated slope where they remained stranded in total darkness for 10 days before rescuers located them.

1 NEWS Correspondent Kimberlee Downs discusses the boys' new found global notoriety.

On Wednesday video showed the boys recuperating in an isolation ward in hospital, chatting to each other and making two-finger victory signs while their parents waved to them through a glass window.

Heavy rains had flooded the Tham Luang cave blocking the football team in after they first entered on June 23.

The boys were reportedly sedated though there have been conflicting reports about the kind of medicine they received, with some saying they got anti-anxiety medication to keep them calm while Peeranarong said some of them had been fully sedated.

"And be careful in the future", Jason Mallison, a diver for the British Cave Rescue Council, said when asked by reporters in Thailand if there was anything he wanted to tell the rescued members of the Wild Boar soccer team. "Of course, I'm very happy if the boys get Thai nationality, as they will be able to access full citizenship rights".

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But he said: "The most important thing to have was a full face mask which had been applied inside with positive pressure to enable them to breathe and to be relaxed enough so not to feel any anxiety during the process".

Footage released by the Thai Navy SEALs showed foreign and Thai divers using pulleys, ropes and rubber piping to haul stretchers bearing two of the barely moving young footballers to safety, their exit framed by the jagged cave overhead.

Dr. Ken Dunham, a psychiatrist with Novant Health Psychiatric Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, told Newsweek that the boys should be monitored for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and alcohol abuse, which are the three most common problems affecting people who survive a disaster.

"Some have had muscle infections, cold, flu, and some psychologists have been taking care of them to relieve stress", Health Ministry Inspector Lertvirairatanapong said.

This week, after an 18-day ordeal, they were all rescued from the cave complex.

Isn't that wonderful? The Thai rescue mission has taught us one thing.

The Canadian, speaking to Reuters a day after the rescue ended, said he had no plans to dive again anytime soon.

There were about a hundred people inside the cave for each rescue operation, Anderson said, and each boy was handled by dozens of people as their perilous movement through a total of nine chambers unfolded.

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