CHIANG RAI, July 11 -The boys rescued from a Thai cave were passed "sleeping" on stretchers through the treacherous pathways, a former Thai Navy SEAL who was the last diver to leave the Tham Luang complex told AFP today.
Dr. Harris was part of a comprehensive team that ensured the 12 exhausted schoolboys-ranging in age from 11 to 16-along with their soccer coach, survived the grueling two-and-a-half mile journey out the cave.
"Dr Harry, the Australian doctor, he's very good, he's got a very good bedside manner", said Mr Volanthen. "They are children being children, it was an accident", Narongsak said.
In the cavern, one-by-one, the boys were fitted with 5mm-thick wetsuits and full-face scuba masks.
The boys had earlier received an invitation to come watch the World Cup final in Russian Federation, but doctors said they could not go as they were still confined to their hospital beds.
"The recovery process should take around 30 days after they are discharged", he added. In the video, Volanthen is heard talking to the group, telling them at the time that they had been in the cave for 10 days and that many rescuers were coming to save them. Authorities are anxious about the possibility of infections picked up in the cave. "Most of the boys lost an average of 2 kg", Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, an inspector for Thailand's health department, told reporters.
"The result is the important thing". "The best way is not to bother them and let them study".
It's not clear if the museum would be operational all year round, as Thailand is prone to heavy floods during the monsoon season, which lasts from June until October.
Each boy was accompanied underwater by two divers carrying their oxygen tanks for them, and guiding them through the murky tunnels.
Even though pumps had brought down water levels significantly in recent days, the still-flooded chambers presented a daunting task for the teams.
"We are not heroes".
Thailand spent yesterday celebrating the successful mission. "For SEALs, this is what we were trained for. Many, many people. We are the first".
Official help came from Britain, the United States, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, China and Australia, a government document showed.
The mission involved 13 foreign divers - around half of whom were British.
Expert divers from the Thai Navy SEALs, experienced in conventional diving situations, were faced with an unprecedented challenge.
The Canadian, speaking to Reuters a day after the rescue ended, said he had no plans to dive again anytime soon.
"Hooyah! Mission accomplished", read one headline, echoing the rallying cry of the SEAL unit.
People from around the world have offered condolences and commented on Valeepoan's social media accounts. "The world will not forget his kindness and all he did to save those boys". A movie about the Thai rescue could be made for less, Medavoy said, because filming in Thailand is cheaper.
"You are very strong", Volanthen told the group.