They were found 10 days later, huddled on a small, dry shelf just above the water, and divers and other worldwide rescuers plotted the complex mission to rescue the team before more rain came.
The rescue mission was indeed a highly risky one as a retired Thai Navy SEAL diver died last Friday (July 6) when he ran out of oxygen in the flooded cave. They were able to check a watch for the time for the first three days.
The 12 Wild Boars players and their coach had entered the cave to go exploring June 23 but monsoon rains filled the tight passageways, blocking their escape.
Though the group are healthy and in good spirits, they remain in an isolation ward waiting for the medical all-clear after more than two weeks stuck deep underground in an environment where they could have been exposed to nasty diseases.
All are recovering at a hospital in northern Thailand's Chiang Rai province, where video showed several of them in seemingly good spirits, waving and flashing peace signs to the camera.
Before they were found, a family member told CBS News the boys worked together to survive for nine days in the cave. "The divers carried them out and they were wearing wetsuits to keep them warm", Thai navy SEAL chief Apakorn Youkongkaew said. Chu is teaming up with worldwide production company Ivanhoe Pictures (Ghoul) to bring the sensational rescue story.
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Another diver, Jason Mallinson, 50, from Huddersfield, said the team left messages for the children as they flew back to the United Kingdom saying: "We're very glad we could get you out alive".
Footage released by the Thai Navy SEALs showed foreign and Thai divers using pulleys, ropes and rubber piping to haul stretchers bearing two of the barely moving young footballers to safety, their exit framed by the jagged cave overhead.
"On behalf of the operation unit, we want to send our condolences to him and I do have to thank him a lot", he said.
About 40 percent of the boys' journey through the water of at least three hours involved diving and in other parts water was up to the rescuers' chests, Thai Navy SEAL commander Rear Admiral Apakorn Yuukongkaew, told reporters on Wednesday.
"We brought the children out like eggs protected in stone", Apakorn said, referencing a Thai saying equivalent to "velvet glove". This announcement comes one day after Pure Flix confirmed their own Rescue project.
Officials plan an interactive museum at the Tham Luang cave based on the historic rescue mission that will feature items such as clothing that key rescuers wore during the operation, Narongsak said. A movie about the Thai rescue could be made for less, Medavoy said, because filming in Thailand is cheaper.