Rising waters, no air: How Thai cave rescue nearly went wrong

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A Thai government official says all 12 boys and their coach are doing well after their rescue from the Tham Luang cave.

"Amazing news that all of the Thai kids are out of the cave safely", Walker said. However, he urged the boys to tell their stories in time, when they're ready. Before their discovery, they survived by drinking water dripping into their cramped refuge.

The four boys rescued Sunday have normal heart rates and no fever, and the two of them with lung infections are improving. On Tuesday, rescuers pulled off an improbable feat when they finished removing all 13 people from the Tham Luang Cave.

Around five minutes into this video, the boy shown on screen has his eyes closed but appears conscious, bringing his right hand to his torso as people gather around him.

The 53-year-old went into the caves on each of the days to individually sign off on each of the boys' health before they were guided to safety. The photos also showed parents of the boys looking at their children through a glass window. All four are technically stateless and not considered citizens under Thai law - even though the three boys have Thai ID cards, which allow them to attend school and have access to health services, Puttanee Kangkun, a Thai human rights specialist for Fortify Rights, told the outlet.

The 12 Thai boys and their coach before they went into the cave.

His incredible efforts drew special praise from the leader of the rescue mission, acting Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotanakorn.

At a school opposite the hospital in Chiang Rai where the boys are recovering, schoolchildren were in an excited, celebratory mood.

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.

Thirteen worldwide cave divers joined five Thai Navy SEALs in the unsafe rescue operation.

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. He ran out of air while trying to swim out of the cave.

Thai Airways is providing round-trip tickets and an all-expenses-paid weeklong trip for all of the worldwide volunteers who worked on this rescue. He praised the cooperation between Thai and global rescuers. "Everyone worked together without discrimination of race or religion as the ultimate goal was to save the youth football team".

He said the lack of citizenship means that stateless persons are denied access to many fundamental rights such as travelling overseas, getting higher education or employment in some careers, so they do not have many opportunities to improve their lives.