Parents are still waiting to be reunited with their sons two days after the last members of a youth football team were extracted from a cave in northern Thailand, as details of the high-risk rescue operation have started to emerge. Officials initially anxious they could remain trapped for months. "There was only a tiny bit of hope, but that's all we had to work with". "In our country, you have so many friends".
From Thailand to the Twittersphere, the world watched on in awe as the rescue mission began, spanning three consecutive days to bring all 12 boys and Coach Ekk out alive.
The dramatic rescue of a Thai boys soccer team and their coach from a flooded cave complex this week transfixed news viewers around the world for more than two weeks, and the story is already headed for a retelling by Hollywood.
Four Thai Navy Seals are seen after leaving the cave safe during the rescue mission, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand July 10, 2018 in this photo obtained from social media. They were all were rushed to the hospital mostly because of fear of infection.
"You are very strong", Volanthen told the group.
"I hope one day, in a few years, they will be able to tell their story, because, like ours, it's a story of faith and hope", Urzua told Reuters.
But Mr Volanthen dismissed the idea, adding: "We are not heroes".
"We were very, very pleased it worked out quite so well. The results speak for themselves", he added.
Volanthen praised the entire worldwide rescue team, which included 90 of the best scuba divers from around the world, for saving the group, who became trapped when monsoon rains struck on June 23 and flooded their exit.
The boys and their 25-year-old coach were trapped after the Tham Luang cave complex was flooded.
The story of the Thai boys lost and found and finally rescued has all the makings of a Hollywood drama, capped with a happy outcome, and film companies are scrambling to buy their story.
He said "relief is the word I would use" to describe the moment he and Stanton found the group.
First, filmmakers need to secure the rights from each of the boys' families, the coach, and any rescuers they want to portray in order to get their firsthand accounts of what happened.
Mr Volanthen also paid tribute to Thai navy diver Saman Kunan, who died while replenishing oxygen canisters, saying his death was an "absolute tragedy" and brought a "bittersweet" taste to an otherwise "excellent" operation.
"They are the toughest blokes and kids I've ever had the privilege to meet", Dr Harris told prime minister in a Facetime call earlier this week. "He's got a very good bedside manner".
"It's an absolute tragedy", he said. "It's kind of bittersweet for what's otherwise been an excellent operation".