Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

'We are not heroes', says United Kingdom diver involved in Thai cave rescue

Video offers first glimpse of boys in hospital after cave rescue   
                             
                    
        Open Video offers first glimpse of boys in hospital after cave rescue Open
Julia Gonzales | 14 July, 2018, 05:36

"None of the tasks were easy", Thai navy SEAL commander Rear Adm. Arpakorn Yookongkaew said Thursday after his men flew back to their base at Sattahip on the Gulf of Thailand.

He praised Saman Kunan, 38, a former Navy SEAL diver, who died while replenishing air tanks four days before the operation to evacuate the boys from the cave began.

Said the SEAL Navy commander: "It was hard but we had to keep fighting".

John Volanthen told media divers were just doing their job as he touched down at Heathrow airport.

The team then launched a mission to rescue the boys and their 25-year-old coach, which concluded on Tuesday after an 18-day ordeal.

"That was a massive, massive relief".

Bill Whitehouse, vice-chairman of the British Cave Rescue Council, said that some of the divers "have been on pretty hairy recovery dives before. the dives in this case were not particularly deep and nothing too extraordinary".

"All we could think about was how we were going to get them out, so there was relief tempered with uncertainty", he said.

'This was completely uncharted, unprecedented territory and nothing like this has been done.

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The mission was "an order of difficulty much higher than anything that's been accomplished anywhere around the world by any other cave diving team", said Mr Stanton.

The footage came as various outlets reported the boys and their soccer coach were sedated to prevent them from panicking or struggling as divers ferried them through black waters and cliff sides.

'The diving conditions were extremely challenging, there was poor visibility and responsibility for another human being's life.

"The part we played has been made out to be a lot more noble than it actually was, we just consider ourselves lucky to have had some skills that we could contribute to the wonderful outcome."

The Philippines on Friday joined the global community in rejoicing with Thailand after the daring rescue of 12 members of a boys soccer team and their coach in a flooded cave complex in the northern part of the country.

"The Australian doctor, he's very good, he's got a very good bedside manner", Mr Volanthen told reporters as he landed back in London.

Volanthen, an IT consultant in his 40s who is based in Bristol, and Stanton, a firefighter from Coventry who is in his 50s, reached the group nine days after they went missing. "It's quite the opposite", he said.

Wild Boars head coach Nopparat Khantavong said his remaining players were in good spirits after returning to practice knowing their friends were safe.

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