Thai cave boys speak of 'miracle' rescue after hospital discharge

AFP
Twelve Thai boys and their football coach who were rescued by divers after being trapped in a flooded cave for over two weeks spoke publicly of their incredible ordeal.
AFP
Reuters

The 12 soccer players and their coach react as they explain their experience in the cave during their news conference in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, on July 18, 2018. 

Twelve Thai boys and their football coach who were rescued by divers after being trapped in a flooded cave for over two weeks spoke publicly on Wednesday of their incredible ordeal.

Appearing at a press conference beamed worldwide, the "Wild Boars" team members appeared healthy and happy despite the nine days they spent in the dark before being found by an international rescue team and extracted days later.

A packed crowd greeted the youngsters after they were discharged from hospital in Chiang Rai, and watched as they played with footballs on a small makeshift pitch before taking their seats.

"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 team had no food at all until they were found deep in the complex, surviving only on water that dripped down the side of the cave.

"We drank water that fell from the rocks," said Pornchai Khamluan, 16.

Coach Ekkapol Chantawong told reporters that they prayed before the first night they went to sleep in the cave, and later tried to find a way out by themselves.

"We tried to dig out as we thought we cannot only wait for authorities to get us," he said.

Doctors said all 13 were in good physical and mental health after recuperating in hospital.


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