British Diver Who Helped Rescue Trapped Boys in Thailand Returns to UK

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John Volanthen was the first voice the boys heard after nine days trapped in the underground network in Chiang Rai province.

After nearly three weeks trapped in the dark, away from their loved ones in a cave in northern Thailand, the boys, aged between 11 and 16, were allowed to see their relatives in a carefully controlled environment, as doctors are still concerned about their health.

Divers who took part in the operation said the boys were heavily sedated to avoid anxiety as they went through the dark, narrow, underwater passageways. "Thank you so much to everyone that has been praying for us and the boys and helping us; thank you".

The global bid to extract the team garnered attention from around the world after the team found themselves trapped on June 23 when they entered the cave after practice and were blocked by floodwaters.

The parents have reportedly only been able to see their children through windows as they recover.

Some of the rescued boys in hospital. None of the four boys who were the first group to be evacuated from the cave has a fever, and the three boys who have minor lung infections are improving, Thai officials said, adding that they are taking less medication and can eat anything they want.

"From our assessment, they are in good condition and not stressed".

It also involved about 90 divers in all, 50 of them from overseas, as well as medics, ambulance drivers, and helicopter pilots to take the boys straight to hospital in the town of Chiang Rai.

Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, a health department inspector, earlier told reporters one from the last group rescued on Tuesday had a lung infection and they were all given vaccinations for rabies and tetanus.

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Isn't that wonderful? The Thai rescue mission has taught us one thing.

Narongsak, giving details of the rescue, said falling oxygen levels inside the cave complex had added a sense of urgency.

"We worked until we forgot the time", said Captain Anan Surawan, chief of the 1st Special Forces Regiment.

Closer to home, Chiang Rai locals rejoiced at the odds-upsetting rescue bid.

Five Seals and 13 foreign divers worked together to rescue the boys.

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.

Once past this stretch, they reached Chamber Three, the SEALs' main base.

The story of the entrapment of the boys and their coach in the cave and their dramatic rescue has captivated people around the world. "That won't happen or we'll give them hell", Chu tweeted, adding it's "a handsome story" about human beings saving other human beings.

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

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