How hero doctor's Aussie accent played surprise role in Thai cave rescue

Video offers first glimpse of boys in hospital after cave rescue   

Video offers first glimpse of boys in hospital after cave rescue Open

Dr "Harry" Harris shared a touching Facebook post as he returned home after the miracle operation that involved experts from 13 countries across the world.

Her words are likely to give comfort to the 12 boys who were last seen in a recent video that showed them recovering in isolation at the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital after more than two weeks underground.

And an Ohio State University graduate played a key role in the team's successful rescue.

Master Sergeant Derek Anderson, a rescue specialist with the US Air Force, told the Associated Press divers practiced their action plan in a swimming pool on local children that were about the same height and weight as the boys inside the cave.

They were brought out safely following an extraordinary saga of worldwide cooperation and ingenuity, as experts from many fields planned how to manoeuvre all 13 out alive.

As he flew back to Australia on Friday, he told how he and his Australian dive partner, retired Perth vet Craig Challen, were supported by divers from Thailand, the United Kingdom and Europe as the 12 members of the soccer team and their coach were freed.

The boys now recuperating and the rescuers who brought them to safety are starting to share stories of the dangers and their survival.

"After an hour when they wanted to leave, the water level was rising".

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"Night was very cold but the coach hugged him, teaching everyone meditation to prevent excessive breathing and to not feel hungry".

"We're not heroes", Volanthen said, despite headlines in the British newspapers describing him and the other worldwide rescuers as just that. A former Thai navy SEAL diver died during the mission.

It is believed the youngest child, aged 11, was one of the last to be freed, although it was the boys' 25-year-old coach who was the last to be rescued.

Local military, police, and the Thai Navy SEALs worked alongside thousands of local and global volunteers, divers, doctors, and experts to aid in the urgent rescue mission. "But it's really the worldwide team I would like to focus on and the Thai SEALs".

"We were very relieved that they were all alive but I think at that point we realised the enormity of the situation and that's perhaps why it took a while to get them all out".

"I want to tell the boys, please don't blame yourselves", Valeepoan Kunan said, as reported by Reuters.

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Then the problem became how to get them back out through the tunnels, some completely full of fast-flowing flood water.

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