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Thai boys wave to the world in first video since their rescue
July 11, 2018
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CHIANG RAI: The first video of the Thai boys rescued from a flooded cave after 17 days was released on Wednesday, showing them smiling and waving from their hospital beds, looking thin but fine after an ordeal that has gripped the world.

 
Thais reacted with relief, gratitude and exhilaration after the last group of the "Wild Boars" soccer team was rescued from the Tham Luang cave, on Tuesday night, ending an ordeal that gripped Thailand and the world.
 
Rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told a news conference the boys were just being children when they got lost and no one was to blame.
 
"We don't see the children as at fault or as heroes. They are children being children, it was an accident," Narongsak said.
 
A video of the boys in hospital was shown at the news conference. Some of them, wearing surgical masks, lay on their beds. Some sat and made the "peace sign" gesture for the camera.
 
The 12 boys and their soccer coach lost an average of 2kg during their ordeal but were generally in good condition and showed no signs of stress, a senior health official said earlier.
 
The boys would have to stay in hospital for up to 10 days, hospital director Chaiwetch Thanapaisal told the news conference. They would then need to recuperate at home for 30 days, he said.
 
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha asked that the boys be given time to recover.
 
"The important thing is ... personal space," Prayuth told reporters. "The best way is not to bother them and let them study."

 
A Google search on Tuesday for the words "Thai cave rescue" revealed 359 million results.


The commander of the navy SEAL unit that oversaw the rescue, Rear Admiral Apakorn Yuukongkaew, hailed the international effort.
 
"We are not heroes. This mission was successful because of cooperation from everyone," he said. "For SEALs, this is what we were trained for. The navy has a motto: 'We don't abandon the people'.

‘Hooyah’

The rescue has dominated front-page headlines in Thailand and beyond for days.
 
"Hooyah! Mission accomplished," read one headline, echoing the rallying cry of the SEAL unit.
The hashtag #Hooyah was hugely popular on social media with people showing their support for the hundreds of rescuers, including divers from around the world, who helped to get the boys out.
 
The fate of the boys has even resonated as far as Russia, where soccer's World Cup is reaching its final stages. Players from France and England welcomed news of the rescue and sent their best wishes to the "Wild Boars" on Twitter.
 
"This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong," French midfielder Paul Pogba tweeted after his team beat Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday to reach the final.
 
Manchester City and England defender Kyle Walker, whose team faces Croatia in the second semi-final later on Wednesday, said he wanted to send shirts to the boys.
 
"Amazing news that all of the Thai kids are out of the cave safely!" Walker tweeted.
 
Spain's La Liga football league has invited the schoolboy team to come watch a game once they have recovered from their ordeal to meet their "heroes."
 
"When the time is right, and everyone involved is ready I'd personally like to invite the children and the coach to attend a La Liga match" in Spain, president Javier Tebas said in a statement.

Reuters

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