Thai boys were passed 'sleeping' through cave, says rescue diver

Ekapol Chantawong with Wild Boars players

Ekapol Chantawong with Wild Boars players

The video released by the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital, located in Thailand's Chiang Rai province, shows the boys lying and sitting in an isolation ward while wearing face masks and hospital gowns.

The parents of the first four boys to be rescued were allowed to pay bedside visits to their quarantined children on the condition they wear hazmat suits and keep a distance of two meters.

Parents of the "Wild Boars" football team watch their boys in the hospital from behind glass.

"My job was to transfer them along", he said, adding the "boys were wrapped up in stretchers already when they were being transferred".

Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, a public health inspector, said the boys lost an average of 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) while they were trapped.

Thai officials have been generous with their praise of foreign volunteers who were essential in the complicated search and rescue operation, including the two British divers who were the first to discover where the members of the Wild Boar soccer club were sheltering.

A huge worldwide operation rescued the stricken children, who became trapped in a flooded six-mile cave in the Doi Nang Non range on June 25, along with their 25-year-old coach, Ekaphol Chanatwong.

Thai navy SEALs posted a almost six-minute video on their Facebook page that shows rescue workers pass along green stretchers in which the boys were being transported.

The boys would have to stay in the hospital for up to 10 days, hospital director Chaiwetch Thanapaisal told the news conference. It said he was "a real hero".

"We don't see the children as at fault or as heroes". He lauded the cooperation between Thai and worldwide rescuers.

Described in a South Australia Ambulance Service statement as a "quiet and kind man" who "didn't think twice about offering his support on this mission", Harris was lauded for his work throughout the rescue effort.

But relief and celebration were suddenly cut short by personal tragedy - on Wednesday it emerged that Dr Harris's father had died shortly after the rescue's finish.

One of the Thai boys is seen being stretchered out of the cave on Tuesday night.

Doctors treating the 12 boys and their coach who survived their misadventure said their health is normal, although a few have low fevers and mild ear infections. Three of the five in the last group have fevers that are easing, and three have middle ear infections.

"His best friend went and sat in his chair and said, "Okay, I'm gonna sit here until he comes back", Carl Henderson, an English teacher at a local school told the news program.

Among those hailed were the divers from the Thai navy Seals.

But it will still be up to a week before all of the boys can hug their mums and dads.

The boys had earlier received an invitation to come watch the World Cup final in Russian Federation, but doctors said they could not go as they were still confined to their hospital beds. Doctors were anxious about potential infections the children could have contracted in the cave.

The saga is reminiscent of the 2010 rescue of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped for 69 days, a tale that was turned into the 2015 movie "The 33" starring Antonio Banderas.

"I want this warm hug once again", his widow Valeepoan said on Instagram, posting a photo of her and Saman embracing.

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