Published: Fri, July 13, 2018

Thai cave rescue movie eyed by director Jon M Chu

Thai cave rescue movie eyed by director Jon M Chu

A Kiwi diver has revealed the nervous weight of responsibility he felt as part of the rescue operation to save the 12 Thai boys trapped in a flooded cave.

"We're just very happy that the boys are out and safe", Volanthen said.

Mallison and his British diving colleague, John Volanthen, were given medals of honor and certificates of appreciation by Thai military officials Thursday before they flew back to Great Britain.

"My job was to transfer them along", he said, adding the "boys were wrapped up in stretchers already when they were being transferred" and were monitored at regular intervals by doctors posted along the kilometres-long escape route.

"Make the most of your lives".

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.

Yesterday it emerged Dr Harris had been told his father had passed away shortly after the cave rescue.

"We gave them a little bit of extra light, they still had light, they looked in good health, but, of course, when we departed all we could think of was how we were going to get them out, so it was relief tempered with uncertainty", he added.

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

"Very good. The best - not good - the very best".

Richard Harris was one of 19 Australians involved in the rescue mission.

As a group consisting of a medic and several Navy SEALs remained within the cave with the boys, teaching them how to swim and dive and fitting them with SCUBA gear, the mission to bring them out officially began on Sunday, July 8.

It also involved about 90 divers in all, 50 of them from overseas, as well as medics, ambulance drivers, and helicopter pilots to take the boys straight to hospital in the town of Chiang Rai. Thongchai said no one is blaming the coach, the last to be evacuated from the cave, for his decision to take the boys inside for a hike after soccer practice. He's got a very bouncy Australian accent and they [the rescued boys] seemed to find that quite relaxing and reassuring. Three of the five in the last group have fevers that are easing, and three have middle ear infections.

A week later, when British divers found the 13, hungry and huddled in darkness on a bank in a partly flooded chamber about four km (2.5 miles) inside the Tham Luang cave, Anan realized that his team had come just 500-700 meters short of the boys that day.

At least three of the boys in the team as well as their coach are stateless refugees and might have restricted travel rights, Reuters has reported.

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