'Pretty full on': Kiwi diver who helped rescue Thai cave boys

Doctor Richard Harris right with his dive partner Craig Challen

SUPPLIED Doctor Richard Harris right with his dive partner Craig Challen

The British diver who found 12 Thai boys and their coach trapped alive in a flooded cave has described his "massive relief" as he counted them one by one, in what he called an unprecedented rescue operation.

Schnauer said once all the boys were out of the cave, everyone was very happy but also keen to get out of the cave. "The divers carried them out and they were wearing wetsuits to keep them warm", Thai navy SEAL chief Apakorn Youkongkaew said.

Divers practiced their rescue techniques in a swimming pool with local children about the same height and weight as the members of the Wild Boars soccer team trapped in the cave.

"To not receive food, we can still survive for many months, but what's necessary is water, which the cave has, and around this time there's a lot in the cave, and they chose clean water to drink", he said.

The former Navy SEAL, 60, says he was the last to leave the Tham Luang cave after the 12 "Wild Boars" and their football coach were was safely extracted in a three-day operation that ended on Tuesday in jubilation. In a 2016 report, the UNHCR said more than 23,000 stateless people had been granted Thai nationality in the preceding four years with the goal of eliminating statelessness in another decade. However, he urged the boys to tell their stories in time, when they're ready.

"This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong", French midfielder Paul Pogba tweeted after his team beat Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday to reach the final. I think it was the result of an global team of military and civilian divers working alongside the Thai Navy.

This undated photo from video released via the Thai NavySEAL Facebook Page on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, shows rescuers hold an evacuated boy inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand.

"The section of cave we were in was very rocky and unstable". With the help of 16 other divers, they ferried the boys and their coach to safety through intense stretches of water.

Rick Stanton, from Coventry, told reporters after arriving at Heathrow Airport in London: "As they were coming down the slope we were counting them so we got to 13". "I think there is a worldwide appeal which I think will inspire millions across the globe".

"Very good. The best - not good - the very best".

The 12 Thai schoolboys rescued from a cave this week were reportedly given a "small sedative" before they embarked on a rescue mission that continues to grab worldwide headlines. "So, that seemed to work".

But the mission, which leaned on the expertise of elite foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALs, almost turned into a calamity.

"It's about the triumphs of individuals and groups of human beings over tragedy", Medavoy said.

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