Thai cave to be turned into museum

Thai cave to be turned into museum

Derek Anderson, 32, a rescue specialist with the U.S. Air Force based in Okinawa, Japan, told the Mail that crews ensured the boys were "tightly packed" so divers could maintain control and adjust their air supply as needed.

The news follows the rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from a cave system in Thailand which then flooded, leaving them trapped.

Ewan McGregor, a British missionary in the city of Chiang Rai where the boys are now in hospital, said: "It really is a miracle and a result of prayer and I'm just excited to hear the testimonies of the boys when they're safe and well".

The euphoria of the discovery was quickly tempered by the reality of the rescue mission: How would they get a dozen young boys, many who couldn't swim, out of a flooded cave through narrow passageways before another storm raised the water level?

"That was a massive, massive relief".

"As they were coming down the slope we were counting them until we got to 13, unbelievable". "I was afraid that he might think I was going to blame him, so I sent a letter of comfort to him in hospital", said the abbot.

'This was completely uncharted, unprecedented territory and nothing like this has been done.

Yesterday's mission began at 11am local time (5am here) when an global diving team entered the cave complex for the second rescue operation after water levels stabilised despite heavy overnight rainfall.

The boys, aged 11 to 16, had to dive for part of their journey out before they were put on plastic toboggan-like stretchers and carried, at times through steep, rocky tunnels, with ropes strung overhead.

Mr Jewell said: "The diving conditions were extremely challenging, there was poor visibility and responsibility for another human being's life".

"The part we played has been made out to be a lot more noble than it actually was".

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Samarn Kunan, 38, a former member of the elite navy SEALs unit, was the only casualty in a multinational operation to save the 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach after monsoon rains trapped them in the cave they were exploring in northern Thailand.

Mr Jewell said it was very hard to judge how close it came to being a very different outcome.

Mr Stanton, from Coventry, spoke as he returned to the United Kingdom on Friday morning along with some of the other British divers who took part in the search and rescue mission.

After landing at Heathrow on Thursday, Volanthen spoke of the relief he had felt at making contact with the boys.

Arriving back in the United Kingdom, he said everybody had "pulled together" and was "very, very pleased it worked out quite so well".

"They just sat quietly without doing anything because it was dark", said Banpot, recounting what his son, who is still in hospital, had told him.

"You hear on the video, John said 'How many?'", Stanton said.

"Are we heroes? No we're not".

"We wish you the best for this very tough time".

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