'Be a force for good': Thai Navy SEAL chief delivers powerful message to rescued soccer team
12 July, 2018, 17:03
The dozens of divers and hundreds of other rescue workers have been celebrated around the world as heroes, especially 38-year-old former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan, who died after bringing the group supplies of air on July 5. The mission became a global effort with experts and rescuers flying in from Britain, Denmark, Finland, Canada, and Australia to assist the more than 1,000 Thai officials.
An American involved in the operation described the perilous zero-visibility dives that brought the boys out safely as a "once in a lifetime rescue".
Health officials said the boys would spend at least a week in hospital and around 30 days recovering at home following more than two weeks trapped inside the flooded Tham Luang cave complex.
Thailand's junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday said the boys were given a "minor tranquiliser" to keep them calm.
Tham Luang cave under Doi Nang Non mountain in Mae Sai, Thailand.
The area is largely undeveloped with only limited tourism facilities.
The head of the rescue team, Narongsak Osottanakorn, revealed yesterday that the cave will be turned into "a living museum". The diver who spoke to AFP said the boys were "groggy" but "breathing" when he helped to pull them out, while the BBC reported that according to divers, the boys were "heavily sedated to avoid anxiety".
All had come from football training when they first went into the cave on June 23, and were wearing football shirts when they were found - one wore an England top, another the colours of Real Madrid.
It was the sudden onset of that rainy season that trapped the boys deep underground while they were exploring.
Even before all 13 people had been brought out, U.S. studio Pure Flix - which makes inspirational Christian films - had announced its producers were on the ground interviewing rescue workers for a potential film.
"We're here (in Thailand) really looking at this as a movie that could inspire millions of people across the globe", says Michael Scott CEO of Pure Flix, which specializes in Christian and family films.
In a statement, a Federation Internationale de Football Association spokesperson said: "FIFA would like to express its great joy at the news of the rescue of the 12 young footballers and their coach".
USA media quoted the company as saying the film would be directed by Jon M Chu.
Concerns are already being raised on social media that the movie could be "white-washed", focusing more on the worldwide characters while downplaying the role of Thais.
"No way. Not on our watch".
"The favourable outcome that has been achieved is nearly beyond our imagination when we first became involved", they said. There is a handsome story abt human beings saving other human beings.
A video of the boys in hospital was shown at the news conference.
Their plight and the massive, unsafe three-day-long operation to free them gripped the world's attention.
THE Thai boys who spent 18 days trapped in a cave have been pictured for the first time since their rescue - sitting up in bed and waving to the cameras.
Divers found the group after nine days inside the flooded cave, but needed to rehearse the rescue because of treacherous conditions through the cave's 2.5 mile (4 kilometer) long passages.
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