Rescued Thai football team recovering well, SE Asia News & Top Stories


Some of the boys rescued from a Thai cave seen in hospital in Chiang Rai. The boys range in age from 11 to 16.

The Thai cave rescue saw divers rescue the boys one by one under extremely hard circumstances.

"Thank you very much for taking care of our children".

The "Wild Boars" football team got stuck inside the cave on June 23 after flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains blocked the entrance.

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.

Members of the Thai navy SEAL team who were among the first searchers to penetrate the watery depth of Tham Luang Nang Non cave and the last divers out flew Thursday to their base at Sattahip on the Gulf of Thailand, where they received a heroes' welcome.

Some of the rescued boys in hospital.

"From our assessment, they are in good condition and not stressed".

Parents of the first eight boys freed have been able to visit them but had to wear protective suits and stand 2 meters (7 feet) away as a precaution.

But he had denied they were knocked out for an operation the chief of the rescue had dubbed "mission impossible".

In the video, one of the boys flashed a "victory" hand gesture.

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The three-day rescue mission kicked off on Sunday (local time) and ended late on Tuesday.

He said he had "no idea" how long it would take, adding that "it depends on whether we find the documents".

The team became captured within a cave in Thailand on June 23 and survived for 18 long days before being miraculously rescued by a fearless group of global divers.

Closer to home, Chiang Rai locals rejoiced at the odds-upsetting rescue bid. A former Thai Navy Seal died last Friday, highlighting the dangers.

The extensive search-and-rescue operation, which included more than 1,000 people from various nations, has now switched to a treatment process. It took the divers about eight hours to get into the cave, reach the boys and bring them back out.

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.

"It's Thai, Westerners, Europeans, Aussies - people from all over the world who helped bring these kids to safety", Scott told Reuters.

"The favourable outcome that has been achieved is nearly beyond our imagination when we first became involved", they said.

At least two Hollywood producers are already plotting a movie project about the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach in anticipation of global box office success.

Earlier on Wednesday, the head of the Thai Navy Seals told the BBC that "hope became reality" with the rescue of the boys and their coach from the Tham Luang cave.