Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

Thai cave rescue: Tearful reunion as parents catch first glimpse of boys

Thai cave rescue: Tearful reunion as parents catch first glimpse of boys

"Some of them have been on pretty hairy recovery dives before in various countries and reading between the lines, the actual dives in this case were not particularly deep and nothing too extraordinary".

Chonburi - Many people welcomed a group of Thai Navy SEAL members as they returned to their base in Chonburi province, following their successful operation to rescue the 12 young football players and their coach who were trapped in Tham Luang cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai.

'We gave them a little bit of extra light, they still had light, they looked in good health.

In the end, the tech multi-billionaire wasn't needed, as a team of Thai Navy Seals and British divers managed to get the boys back to their families.

"The favourable outcome that has been achieved is nearly beyond our imagination when we first became involved in this operation", they said.

"He's got a very bouncy Australian accent, and they seemed to find that quite relaxing and reassuring".

"When you see Australians who are modest turn up in these most hard situations around the world and they just do what they believe is the right thing", he said.

Banphot Konkum, father of 13-year-old Duangpetch Promthep, told The Associated Press his son - better known by his nickname, Dom - said the team members didn't know rain had started falling after they had entered the cave on June 23.

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"And all this time four courageous Navy Seals sat with the Wild Boars knowing they were in as much danger as the kids".

Dom's grandmother, Kameay Promthep, said she would tell Dom never to go near the cave or water again because she doesn't want anything to happen to him or for him to cause trouble to others again. "So there was relief, tempered with uncertainty".

"You hear on the video, John said 'How many?'", Stanton said.

Thailand cave diving hero Dr Richard Harris (second left) pictured with MEDSTAR Andrew Pearce (left), wife Fiona (second right) and West Australian diver Craig Challen (right).

"The part we played has been made out to be a lot more noble than it actually was, we just consider ourselves lucky to have had some skills that we could contribute to the wonderful outcome."

Mr Stanton was asked how he felt when he first saw the boys alive in the Luang Nang Non Cave. "I'd already counted them, they were already there".

Returning with Mr Stanton were fellow divers Chris Jewell and Connor Roe, both from Somerset, Josh Bratchley from Devon, Jim Warny from Co Clare, Mike Clayton from Yorkshire and Gary Mitchell from Machynlleth in Powys. "It will be good to get closure".

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