Incredible operation in pictures: All 12 boys, coach rescued from Thailand cave

Elon Musk via AP

Elon Musk via AP

Meanwhile, reports say the boys and the coach were sedated to stop them panicking during the risky rescue.

"The world just needs to know that what was accomplished was a once in a lifetime rescue", Anderson told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday. "No one seems too stressed".

The SEALs commander, Rear Adm. Apakorn Youkongkae, said the soccer coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, determined the order the boys should be rescued in.

The boys lost on average 2kg during their ordeal but are said to be in good physical condition.

They are malnourished and weak, and doctors are anxious that they could be susceptible to germs spread by family members or other visitors, Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University infectious diseases expert, says.

Site highlights each day to your inbox. "Anyone can bring this card to show it to the doctors, so the doctor can be alerted to any kinds of diseases and take care of them, such as colds", Thongchai told reporters.

The four boys rescued on Sunday are now eating normal food and walking around, while the four extracted on Monday are being given soft food.

The boys and their coach have now all been taken to hospital after the three-day evacuation that was a battle against heavy, predicted rain.


Parents of the boys freed on Sunday were able to visit them but had to wear protective suits and stand 2 meters (7 feet) away as a precaution.

In this image made from video, released by Thailand Government Spokesman Bureau, family members watch the rescued boys through a window outside the recovery ward at the Chiang Rai hospital in Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

The third and final group, including the soccer team's 25-year-old coach, which emerged Tuesday, are taking antibiotics and at least some had lung infections.

"What was really important was the coach and the boys all came together and discussed staying strong, having the will to live, having the will to survive", Anderson said.

Thais reacted with relief and exhilaration after the last of the young football team were rescued from the cave on Tuesday night, bringing to an end the drama that gripped Thailand and the world.

Questions will remain as to why the team, led by their 25-year-old coach, went into the caves during the rainy season - it is common knowledge that it is a unsafe time to enter, and signs at the entrance specifically warn of the dangers of monsoon rains.

They also said counselling would be needed to deal with the psychological trauma of spending so long not knowing whether they were going to survive.

The Brits who discovered them were among the elite divers who flew out after the Thai authorities begged the world for help. Former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan died last Friday while putting extra air tanks along the escape path.

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