Thai cave boys speak to media for first time after dramatic rescue

Thai cave boys speak to media for first time after dramatic rescue

Twelve Thai boys and their soccer coach said they survived 10 days trapped inside a flooded cave without food by drinking rainwater dripping from rocks, as they offered details about their harrowing ordeal for the first time Wednesday during a news conference broadcast worldwide.

All 12 players and their coach had been under close supervision at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital, near the border with Myanmar, since they were rescued from the cave on July 10. All expressed their thanks and apologized for not telling their parents of their plan.

Some in the group said they wanted to become navy SEALs and others revealed they now felt strong enough to become professional soccer players.

The 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand appeared in public for the first time on Wednesday. They also talked about returning to the cave the next day.

"Everyone was so happy when they heard the noise of the divers".

Dr Pak said that when the boys were first delivered food in the cave, they found it so delicious that some of them "snuck food out in wetsuits".

While numerous boys wanted to be pro soccer players when they grow up, at least four of them said they hope to become navy SEALs, so they could help others.

"It is a miracle", Adul Sam-on, 14, said of the rescue, as the boys were gently quizzed about their terrifying experience by a moderator before dozens of cameras.

The next day, they proceeded to hunt for fresh water and found it trickling down a wall in the cave. So they had to only drink water from the stalactites.

The youngest member of the team, 11-year-old Titan, said thanks to Saman Kunan.

Inside the freezing cave, the coach and another boy hugged Titun to keep him warm, said his father.

At his point, the realization dawned that they were trapped. The group had started to notice pools of water as they made their back way through the tunnels.

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"We tried not to think of food, like fried rice, because it would make us hungrier", he said.

"If I pull twice, that means that I saw the exit", he said.

Adul said he then took a torch from another team member and rushed down to meet the two British divers who found them almost 10 days after they became trapped in the flooded cave.

Adul was referring to divers Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, who were credited by British media with discovering the group in the dark maze of claustrophobic caverns.

Craig Challen, along with his diving partner Richard Harris, were among the team of worldwide divers who were instrumental in the rescue mission which brought an entire soccer team to safety.

For now, however, the boys are heading home to be reunited with their families and can finally enjoy some of the pork and rice they longed for while in the cave. Wearing hats and sunglasses - Thai SEALs can not be identified due to the nature of their work - they said they perked the boys up by asking them if they were ready for their extraction.

They thought up a plan to dig a passageway for the water to flow through - but it didn't go down at all.

At first, the replies were muted, but they soon grew more forceful.

When the British divers breached the surface, Adun said he was so shocked, all he could think to say was "hello!"

The news conference did not feature back-and-forth discussions; instead, journalists submitted questions for the team submitted their questions in advance, according to the Thai Public Broadcasting Service.

Addressing the question as to why they entered the risky cave complex, Ake said the boys were curious to look inside as they'd never visited before.

The group was freed from the cave eight days ago after a dramatic rescue effort that left one Thai Navy SEAL dead after he ran out of oxygen trying to dive out of the flooded cave.

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