After Heroic Thai Rescue, Cave Diving Doctor Mourns Father's Death

John Volanthen

Even as a massive operation is underway to rescue the remaining members of the Thai soccer team trapped in a flooded cave, a diver involved with the mission highlighted the risks involved in carrying out the rescue.

The remaining 100 workers apparently made it out of the cave within an hour, including the last three Thai navy SEALs and a medic - all who had been with the boys for much of the week between them being found and being freed from the cave.

Rescue leader Narongsak Osatanakorn said at a sudden press conference on Tuesday that the mission began at 10.08 a.m. local time and that everyone in the cave is expected to be rescued today.

The 12 boys and their coach who were saved from a cave in northern Thailand are doing well mentally and physically, a Thai health official has said, amid an outpouring of gratitude for those involved in their rescue.

"They are all in good spirits and happy to be out", Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the public health ministry, told reporters.

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Look at the fans there tonight, there was a lump in the throat and the hairs on my neck stood up watching the fans at the end. I feel that as a nation we have progressed and hopefully there is more to come in the future".


Tuesday's rescue mission will be a race against time and bad weather.

He examined the boys in the cave and decided when they were well enough to be rescued. All 12 boys are being kept away from family members to prevent them from catching infections.

The hospital treating 12 Thai school children rescued from a flooded cave has released the first video showing the boys since they were saved. Rescue officials were hopeful that the final four boys and their coach would be rescued Tuesday.

Jesada Chokdumrongsuk said that the boys are "healthy and smiling", he added: "the kids are footballers so they have high immune systems".

The search operation quickly turned into a rescue mission involving 90 divers - 50 foreign and 40 Thai - though some warned it could take months.

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"We are humbled to have been able to provide our expertise and experience to assist in this global operation led by the Thai government", they said.

After divers brought out four of the boys Monday evening, authorities indicated the rescue operation would continue for a third day. They began again at 11 am on Monday after the teams had stopped for the night to rest and to replenish equipment and oxygen supplies.

Meanwhile, Manchester United invited the boys to game at their home stadium Old Trafford next season while Portugese team Benfica invited the Wild Boars to an expenses-paid week at its training academy.

American billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk tweeted Monday that he had visited the cave and left behind a mini-sub rescue vehicle "in case it may be useful in the future".

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