Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Thai Boys Rescued From Cave Say 'Thank You' In New Video

The boys at a hospital in Chiang Rai province on 11 July The boys at a hospital in Chiang Rai province on 11 July
Charlie Simmons | 15 July, 2018, 12:54

The 12 boys rescued from a flooded Thai cave this week are expected to be discharged from the hospital Thursday, medical officials said Saturday.

A handout photo made available by the Thai government public relations department (PRD) on July 11, 2018 shows the first pictures of the boys from a youth soccer team as they are treated at the hospital in Chiang Rai. Nearly immediately after they entered the caverns, a torrential seasonal downpour flooded the systems behind them, trapping them deep within the caves. "Don't worry about me now, I'm safe", said 15-year-old Pipat Photi.

Two British divers found them on July 2, squatting on a mound in a flooded chamber several kilometres inside the cave complex.

Two boys who are part of the team but did not enter the cave told ABC News before the rescue operation that "Ake" had taken them into the cave many times in the past as a sort of rite of passage and team-building exercise.

The boys will be unable to watch the World Cup Final live in Russian Federation, despite an invitation from FIFA, as they will only be released from hospital on Thursday.

"I am in good health now", said one of the boys, a 14-year-old nicknamed Note.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Thursday global members of the rescue team would be given a "Thailand Elite" card worth 500,000 baht ($15,000) with benefits including a 5-year visa in thanks. "They have to help each other". Everyone appears emotionally and mentally well, but doctors said they are most concerned about the children being able to grow up without any repercussions from their ordeal.

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He and and health permanent secretary Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk went to Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital to visit the 13 people.

He denied he was a hero and said he was using a "very unique skill set" to "give something back to the community".

A hospital statement said that as the boys continue to recover, they remain susceptible to infectious disease. "Initially we weren't certain they were all alive - as they were coming down I was counting them until I got to 13", he said after his arrival at London's Heathrow airport. The boys and their families have been instructed to avoid all media exposure for at least one month after they are discharged, out of fear it could trigger post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. "I would like to thank everyone for supporting us".

Kunan died due to a lack of oxygen on his way out of Tham Luang on the morning of Jul 6.

A former Thai Navy diver died trying to establish an airline to the group just two days before the rescue bid was launched.

The Briton, who lives in Bangkok with his Thai wife Tuk, 42, and daughter Millie, 10, added: "It all really hit me when the 11-year-old came out".

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