You died to save us… boys’ tears for diver

Widow of hero diver who died during Thai cave rescue urges the boys not to blame themselves

Widow of hero diver who died during Thai cave rescue urges the boys not to blame themselves

The divers said they trained above ground with local children at a nearby pool, before practising with the trapped boys by getting them used to donning wetsuits, buoyancy jackets and full-face masks.

This handout photo released by the Ministry of Health, Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital, shows members of the rescued "Wild Boars" football team at hospital in Chiang Rai province bowing their heads after writing messages on a drawing of former Navy SEAL diver Saman Kunan who died on July 6 during the rescue mission.

Doctors say they were in good health following a successful three-day operation which ended on July 10 when teams of Thai navy Seals and global cave-diving experts hauled the last five members of the team to safety. "Regarding infections, through the medical evaluations in the first days there may be some of them that had minor pneumonia, but now all is cleared, no fever", Piyasakol said.

"I feel like it is the first opportunity to really stop and reflect on the extraordinary events of the past 8 days since Craig and I were deployed as a small AUSMAT team to the rescue in Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand", Dr Harris wrote.

"I've never done anything as risky as that and I don't think I ever will again".

Dr Challen and Dr Harris were called in to help by Thai authorities soon after the boys were located.

Retired Perth vet Craig Challen and his fellow expert cave diver, anaesthetist Dr Richard "Harry" Harris, played a key role in the rescue operation of team "Wild Boar".

"They also thanked him and promised to be good boys".

The 12 members of the Thai soccer team who were trapped in a cave for more than two weeks delivered thank you messages from their hospital beds in a video made on Friday.

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The boys are understood to have entered the cave as a part of a team ritual, where younger boys would carve their names on to the wall.

Dr Richard Harris and Craig Challen with hospital staff in Thailand. One of the 14-year-olds, Ekarat Wongsukchan, whose nickname is Biw, playfully raised his two arms in a boxer's victory stance as laughter was heard in the background.

"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".

Mr Turnbull asked Dr Harris to describe the trickiest section of the huge cave system he needed to navigate.

A spokeswoman for Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade declined to comment. We didn't have a backup device for them.

"Who would chloroform them?"

The success was tinged with bitterness, however, as Harris learned his father, Jim, died in Australia shortly after the three-day rescue was completed last week.

"The big heroes in this are the children and the Thai Navy SEALs who were looking after them", he said.

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