Cave boys speak of 'miracle' rescue

Cave boys speak of 'miracle' rescue

The boys' friends gathered to greet them on the set for the broadcast, created to resemble a soccer field, complete with goalposts, nets and scattered with black-and-white footballs, while benches stood on a dais for the boys to sit on.

The Wild Boars arrive at press conference. That is what the soccer team is called. A large sign had the words "Bringing the Wild Boars Home".

Two British divers found them on July 2, squatting on a mound in a chamber several kilometres inside the complex.

"It was magical", he said. "I had to think a lot before I could answer their questions", added Adul, who speaks English.

The discovery launched the rescue effort that brought them all to safety over three days.

Four members of the soccer team that were rescued from a Thai cave are being considered for Thai citizenship.

Coach Ekkapol Ake Chantawong said the group decided stay inside the cave for the night and wait for the water level to drop.

"It is a miracle", Adul Sam-on, 14, said of the rescue, as the boys were gently quizzed about their terrifying experience by a moderator before dozens of cameras.

All expressed their thanks and apologized for not telling their parents of their plan.

Some of the rescued twelve members of the Wild Boar soccer team depart from the Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital in Chiang Rai province, Thailand, 18 July 2018.

When the hour was up, they were pretty deep inside and already had swum through some flooded areas in the spirit of adventure.

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"We tried to dig out as we thought we can not only wait for authorities to get us", coach Ekkapol Chantawong told reporters.

"I discussed with the boys whether we should go forward by swimming through the submerged section. We dug 3 to 4 metres". The team had gone to explore the caves after soccer practice, and on their way back out noticed the water rising. For almost 10 days, they survived on water dripping from stalactites in the cave.

The boys survived by finding higher ground and drinking cave water.

Many stateless people in Thailand are victims of neighbouring Myanmar's years of ethnic conflict, and the northern Chiang Rai region has long served as an entry point into Thailand for migrants.

One boy was anxious about his parents. When they said "hello" to me, I said "hello" back. "That I wouldn't go home and I would get scolded by my mother".

The team presented a drawing of Saman which they had written messages of gratitude.

The boys sat alongside members of the Thai Navy Seals who helped rescue them.

"He's a good, very responsible student", she said, adding that meant no girlfriend for two more years.

The boys are due to be ordained as Buddhist monks for a short period of time, a tradition for males in Thailand who have experienced a misfortune. They were able to see their families through a glass, while wearing hospital gowns and masks.

Dom, who lives with his aunt, uncle and grandmother, wrote on Facebook that he had to create a new account because of to a surge in requests to befriend him.

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