Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

New footage shows sedated football team carried from Thailand cave

New footage shows sedated football team carried from Thailand cave

The complex mission for global and Thai divers to guide the boys and coach through the cave's flooded passageways riveted people worldwide.

The pictures have been released as new details emerge of the complex operation to save the boys from the flooded cave in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand.

Thirteen foreign divers and five Thai Navy SEALs guided boys and their coach out in a complicated three-day operation that ended on Tuesday.

AT least two Hollywood production companies are looking into putting the dramatic rescue of the "Wild Boars" soccer team on the big screen but social media is abuzz with the potential whitewashing of the proposed film.

After a 17-day struggle, an image of the Thai boys flashing victory sign, smiling and waving from their hospital beds gripped the world.

The successful rescue of the young footballers and their coach is a cause for joy not just their families but also for the countless number of people around the world who have been following the drama on television and other media.

A video of the boys in hospital was shown at the news conference.

"Some of them were asleep, some of them were wiggling their fingers".

Meanwhile, reports say the boys and the coach were sedated to stop them panicking during the unsafe rescue.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told reporters on Tuesday that the group had been given a "minor tranquiliser" to help calm their nerves.

They were found by British divers after nine days, and were eventually rescued days after in an operation that involved dozens of divers and hundreds of other rescue workers.

The boys, aged 11 to 16, had no experience in scuba diving, and the death of an ex-Navy Seal who had helped install oxygen tanks in preparation for the rescue underscored the dangers of the mission.

The chief national correspondent for abc has revealed that shortly after the rescue of the last four players, the main pump failed, according to military sources. "The coach was the one to choose", he said.

That left 20 or so divers scrambling to flee the rising waters, he said, explaining they narrowly made it out time.

Video has been released showing them in good health and in good spirits, though they will stay in quarantine for a week.

Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, a public health inspector, said Wednesday the 12 boys and coach rescued over the three previous days "took care of themselves well in the cave".

Closer to home, Chiang Rai locals rejoiced at the odds-upsetting rescue bid. Last night a 14-year-old member of the trapped football team was also hailed as a hero.

"It's really a miracle", she said.

Several options were explored by authorities - including tunnelling into the trapped group or getting them enough food to wait out the monsoon season.

But they were prodded into the unsafe task of bringing the team through submerged chambers and claustrophobic passages as oxygen levels in the cave plummeted and rains menaced.

Saman Gunan was a retired Thai navy diver who was volunteering in the rescue efforts.

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