Thailand may grant citizenship to 'stateless' boys, coach rescued from cave

Esequiel Farfan
Julio 13, 2018

Their rescue was particularly treacherous because the boys, aged 11 to 16, had to swim through tight spaces despite having no previous diving experience.

The IT tech said that the divers were not heroes and directed attention to the rest of his team and the Thai Navy Seals. "Thank you so much to everyone that has been praying for us and the boys and helping us; thank you".

The rescue mission began after the youth soccer team became trapped when heavy rainfall flooded the cave system on June 23.

"He's got a very bouncy Australian accent, and they seemed to find that quite relaxing and reassuring".

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.

Brown, a 35-year-old who runs a scuba shop on the balmy Thai island of Koh Tao, was tasked during the rescue with changing oxygen tanks and hauling the boys along between dive spots.

"Some have had muscle infections, cold, flu, and some psychologists have been taking care of them to relieve stress", Health Ministry Inspector Lertvirairatanapong said.

Other video footage shows several of the boys in hospital, in quarantine and wearing face masks but seemingly in good health as they nod, wave and flash peace signs to the camera.

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The hope that the boys will stay out of the spotlight for some time was one shared by former mine foreman Luis Urzua, who was trapped in a mine in Chile for 69 days following a collapse. They would then need to recuperate at home for 30 days, he said.

At the final press conference for the rescue mission Wednesday, mission commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn paid tribute to Harris.

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.

"We're just very happy that the boys are out and safe", he said. They were told to remain calm and motionless as two divers prepared to tug them through murky waters and along guide ropes that had been put in place.

The most unsafe part of the journey out of the labyrinthine cave system was the first kilometer, during which they were required to squeeze through a narrow flooded channel. "That won't happen or we'll give them hell".

At least two Hollywood producers are already plotting a movie project about the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach in anticipation of global box office success.

"It's Thai, Westerners, Europeans, Aussies - people from all over the world who helped bring these kids to safety", Scott told Reuters.

Thai rescue teams walk inside cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, July 2, 2018.

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