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

Some of the boys wave from their hospital beds

'The most important thing to have was a full face mask which had been applied inside with positive pressure to enable them to breathe and to be relaxed enough so not to feel any anxiety during the process, ' he said.

They also acknowledged the "vast number" of military and civilian participants who helped in the operation, along with their Australian colleagues.

Jon M. Chu, the director of "Crazy Rich Asians", says he's planning to make his own movie about the survival and rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in Thailand's Tham Luang Cave. A psychiatrist said their mental state seems fine.

Kham-oey Promthep, the grandmother of Duangpetch Promthep, the rescued captain of the "Wild Boars", at Tham Luang cave complex, points to a photo of Duangpetch, in Chiang Rai, Thailand July 12, 2018.

The young football team had walked into the cave when it was dry, but heavy rains had quickly caused it to flood, trapping them 3km deep inside the system.

They expected to be in the cave for only an hour when high water was suddenly upon them.

"He was very hungry with such great pain in his stomach that he cried and drank water dripping along cave fissures", she said.

"Initially, of course, excitement, relief that they were still alive".

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

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said on Wednesday the operation was nothing short of a miracle.

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Dr Harris and Dr Challen spoke out about the gruelling rescue mission for the first time on Thursday, sending a message of thanks for the support they had received.

The Thai Navy SEALs posted a video on Facebook showing the group when they were first found. Becoming a monk at a temple for at least a short period is a way of making merit in Thai Buddhist tradition.

The boys were described as generally being in normal condition in a Chiang Rai hospital, though their levels of recuperation varied because they were removed from the cave over three days. When divers reached them later, they brought additional food, water and blankets.

He told the Mail, "We were extremely fortunate that the outcome was the way it was". It was very cold at night and pitch dark. They had to lie huddled together.

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

Fellow British rescuers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton said that Dr Richard "Harry" Harris had a great relationship with the boys while they were trapped in the cave system, the Herald Sun reports.

"As they were coming down the slope we were counting them till we got to 13".

"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. "And so there was relief tempered with uncertainty".

Thai authorities had contacted the British Cave Rescue Council for help when the boys disappeared.

Derek Anderson, 32, a rescue specialist with the U.S. Air Force based in Okinawa, Japan, told the Mail that crews ensured the boys were "tightly packed" so divers could maintain control and adjust their air supply as needed. "But we didn't mention it because it could affect morale".

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