Thai cave operation: Pumps failed after last boy rescued

Boys rescued from Thailand’s Tham Luang Cave had to turn down an invitation to the World Cup to remain under medical care. More

The website of Harris' medical company based in Adelaide describes him as someone who combines a "taste for adventure with his medical practice and a lifelong interest in the underwater world". The children were well taken care of in the cave.

He said the children hadn't eaten any food in the nine days before they were found, and drank murky water from inside the cave, which saved them.

The 12 Thai boys and their coach before they went into the cave.

The boys' families can visit them wearing protective gowns and masks, it added.

Their rescue was particularly treacherous because the boys, aged 11 to 16, had to swim through tight spaces despite having no previous diving experience.

On Tuesday evening, all 12 boys and Chanthawong had been rescued following a three-day operation by the Thai Royal Navy and Thai Navy SEALs.

Australia's hero doctor and his dive partner say the successful rescue of a young Thai soccer team from a flooded cave system "is nearly beyond our imagination".

They survived on snacks they brought with them and by drinking water running down cave walls, authorities said.

Two of the four rescued Monday have mild fevers.

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"We would be honoured to welcome the team from the Wild Boars Football Club and their rescuers to Old Trafford this coming season".

"This area will become a living museum, to show how the operation unfolded", the head of rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, told a news conference on Wednesday.

"This is clearly a time of grief for the Harris family, magnified by the physical and emotional demands of being part of this week's highly complex and ultimately successful rescue mission".

But approaching wet weather forced the timeline to be moved up and the elite unit of Thai Navy Seals and foreign divers were forced to contend with thick mud and rising water. "Without him, in this operation, I don't think we could have succeeded".

Three of the 12 boys are seen recovering in their hospital beds after being rescued along with their coach from a flooded cave in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand.

Wrapped in foil blankets to keep them warm, the boys are threaded through a claustrophobic tunnel compared to the "S-bend" of a toilet.

The daring operation was carried out with the help of global rescue workers and ultimately resulted in the death of only one man - a Thai rescue diver on Friday last week.

At the start of the seven-minute video, posted on Facebook just a day after the last of the 13 members of the group were successfully escorted out of the cave, two divers are seen adjusting their equipment while standing chest-deep in murky water.

Getting them out - which involved teaching boys as young as 11 who were not strong swimmers to dive through narrow, submerged passages - proved a monumental challenge.

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