Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Australian doctor, forerunner in Thai cave rescue, affected by family tragedy

Australian doctor, forerunner in Thai cave rescue, affected by family tragedy

The hospital treating 12 Thai school children rescued from a flooded cave has released the first video showing the boys since they were saved.

On Monday, the evacuation of four boys took 11 hours. And the confidence of the diving team, and expertise specific to the cave, grew after its first successful mission Sunday. The children would be in the hospital for up to 10 days, the doctor said, adding that they require 30 more days to recover at home.

Speaking at a press conference a day after the last members of the group were extracted, Mr Narongsak - the former governor of Chiang Rai province - said rescuers had to be confident before they attempted the daring rescue through narrow tunnels and murky waters.

"I quickly realized it was going to be a more complex mission that we initially had thought", the 32-year-old Syracuse native said.

The nerve-shredding three-day operation ended on Tuesday with the final group of four boys and the coach emerging from the cave which had held them captive for 18 days.

One of the rescued boys caught a lung infection, Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, a health department inspector said, confirming the rest of the children were given vaccinations for rabies and tetanus.

A screen grab shows boys rescued from the Thai cave wearing mask and resting in a hospital in Chiang Rai, Thailand from a July 11, 2018 handout video. He also acknowledged the loss of a former navy SEAL, Saman Kunan, who died last week while replenishing air tanks inside the cave.

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Risks such as the boys' deteriorating physical condition and the possibility of life-saving equipment breaking down mid-mission made the rescue effort particularly risky, Hodges said.

If medical tests show no dangers after another two days, parents will be able to enter the isolation area dressed in sterilized clothing, staying 2 metres away from the boys, said another public health official, Tosthep Bunthong.

John Tangkitcharoenthawon, a local village chairman, was bursting with happiness over the successful rescue.

Tense footage of the incredible Thailand rescue has highlighted just how unsafe the path to safety was for the 12 boys.

President Donald Trump joined those paying tribute to the rescuers.

The complex mission for global and Thai divers to guide the boys and coach through the cave's flooded and tight passageways riveted people worldwide. "Such a lovely moment - all freed, great job!" They had less than five meters visibility, fought harsh currents and used a buddy system of two divers for each boy rescued. "All the 13 Wild Boars are now out of the cave", the Thai Navy SEAL team that led the rescue posted on Facebook after completing its mission, Reuters reported.

Thought their harrowing ordeal scored them an invitation from Federation Internationale de Football Association to attend the World Cup final in Russia, the rescued Wild Boars soccer team will not be able to attend the match. However, doctors treating the boys said it was too soon for them to make the trip.

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