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Thailand cave rescue Brit diver says: 'We are not heroes'

13 July 2018

"The complexity, scale and risk of the operation was unprecedented", Glen McEwen, Australian Federal Police manager for Asia said at a press conference Wednesday.

During the roughly nine-hour rescue operation, the boys were underwater for four to six hours, according to Jedsada Chokedamrongsook, the permanent secretary of the Thai Health Ministry.

The last of the Wild Boars team were brought to the surface on Tuesday.

This footage shows a glimpse at the boys in their beds, as well as teary-eyed parents and other relatives waving at them from behind a nearby glass wall.

"To not receive food, we can still survive for many months, but what's necessary is water, which the cave has, and around this time there's a lot in the cave, and they chose clean water to drink", he said. Some sat and made the "peace sign" gesture for the camera.

In this photo taken from video released by Thailand government, family members watch the rescued boys through a window at the Chiang Rai hospital in northern Thailand, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. The family members were not allowed to enter the room where they are being treated, in order to avoid infection, Dr Chaiyawej Thanapaisarn said.

The 12 boys and their coach, Ekkapol Ake Chantawong, were confirmed to be physically healthy, with only three of the boys treated for minor pneumonia.

A Thai artist has promised to create a statue of Samarn to be erected in Chiang Rai province, where the Tham Luang cave is situated.

Narongsak Osottanakorn confirmed that all 12 boys and their coach are recovering well, and doctors have said there is no need to worry about their physical and mental health.

The Thai Navy Seals also released video showing the three-day effort to free the boys.

"We would like to thank everyone for the messages of support we have received following the successful extraction of the team and Royal Thai Navy Seals from the cave", the statement reads.

One tragic expedition in 2011, involved the retrieval of the body of his friend, Agnes Milowka, who ran out of air during a cave dive in South Australia.

'They are not Thai citizens, ' Weenat said, adding that officials were checking to see if they qualified for citizenship.

Harris' colleagues and fellow rescuers lauded his commitment to the mission and how vital his expertise was in bringing the boys out to safety. "Everybody pulled together and the results speak for themselves, so we're just very happy that the boys are out and safe", Volanthen told reporters.

None of the 12 boys had ever been diving and some did not know how to swim.

Each of the boys, with no diving experience, was guided out by divers though rocky, muddy and water-filled passages that in places were just a crawl space.

Commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong, who was the last to leave the cave, has revealed how he heard shouts of alarm as the pumps failed in an area between two chambers, filling them with water as 20 rescuers remained inside.

Steve George reported from Thailand, James Griffiths wrote from Hong Kong.

Thailand cave rescue Brit diver says: 'We are not heroes'