Thai boys rescued from cave consider ordaining as Buddhist monks

Thai cave boys recount ordeal in first public appearance

The 12 Wild Boars and their coach kicking balls at their news conference in Chiang Rai yesterday

A handout footage given by the hospital shows members of a Thai youth football team being cheered by hospital staff.

The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach sparked an global rescue effort after they became trapped inside the flooded Tham Luang cave complex in Chiang Rai.

The boys, who sported crisp haircuts, had gained 3 kg (6.6 lb) each on average since the rescue, and ran through confidence-building exercises ahead of Wednesday's event, the hospital director said.

Banphot Konkum, the uncle of Duangpetch Promthep, one of the boys rescued from a flooded cave, wipes his eyes as he watches Duangpetch and the rest of the boys live on television recalling their ordeal in the cave at his home in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

Croatian FA president Davor Suker made the decision today to send the boys all a Croatian World Cup playing shirt.

"Everybody was happy, it was the most hopeful moment in 10 days".

Reflecting on how they were found 10 days after being trapped by flash floods in the cave, Adul Samon, 14, said Ekkapol heard the sounds of people talking.

The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach got into difficulties after exploring the Tham Luang cave complex after football practice on 23 June. Upon finding a ledge on which they could perch, he then instructed the 12 boys to start digging in search of a potential exit.More Stories From FOTO Linh Pham/Getty ImagesSURVIVAL MODEThe team started to feel weak after two days stuck in the cave, but discovered a trickle of fresh water that helped sustain them. "When they said "hello" to me, I said 'hello" back.

They also spoke of feeling guilty about the death of a former Thai Navy SEAL during the rescue effort. Last week, the Thai Navy SEALs released video showing just how hard and risky that rescue mission was as they raced to save the team from more potential flooding. But a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels, trapping them as they took shelter on a shelf of the dark cave.

The group had no food on a trip which they thought would only last an hour in the cave.

"I told everyone fight on, don't despair", said one boy, describing how the group had battled to stay alive.

"We tried to dig out as we thought we can not only wait for authorities to get us", he said. Ekkapol said he was the one, as he could not understand English.

On Wednesday, the team was discharged from hospital nearly a week after their three-day rescue.

"I stopped thinking about food because it would make me even hungrier", the youngest one said.

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