'Hooyah!' Exhilaration and relief as Thai boys rescued from cave

'Hooyah!' Exhilaration and relief as Thai boys rescued from cave

"When you've been starving for that long your whole body's metabolism will change from using carbohydrates to using fats, proteins, and glycogen storages as sources of energy", Chuang said. Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha visited the hospital Monday, and spoke to relatives and hospital workers.

The last four boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach were extracted from the Tham Luang cave network on Tuesday evening, and are being taken to a nearby hospital. "Everyone is in a good mental state", Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the public health ministry, said before all 13 had been rescued.

Authorities did not reveal the identity of the boys as they were brought out. This mission was successful because we had power.

The specialist cave divers and the boys wore smaller equipment such as rebreathers and tanks at their sides, rather than on their backs.

The escape route was a challenge even for experts - a former Thai Navy Seal diver died when he ran out of oxygen in a flooded area of the cave on Friday while trying to prepare the escape route. "Secondly, the stones are razor sharp which is unsafe for our diving, (and) thirdly the passage is very narrow", he said.

"I'm quite emotional as a father - everybody has this feeling because we feel like it's our children who are inside the cave".

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The boys also needed to keep calm throughout the process.

Simmee Oupra has volunteered as a translator for the past 10 days at the press centre near the cave where 12 young boys and their soccer coach have been trapped for nearly three weeks.

For several days, rain threatened to hamper what was already a complicated rescue mission. They were unable to go further because their gear was too large: going beyond chamber three required passing through a hole less than a metre wide.

As each of the boys swam out one-by-one, he was there to give them a medical sign-off and he only left once everybody was out safely.

Dangerously low levels would have put the boys at risk of hypoxia, a condition that causes altitude sickness. However, a few days of relatively clear skies allowed rescuers to pump enough water out of the cave to allow the boys to walk through some sections.

The plight of the boys and their coach captivated much of the world - from the heart-sinking news that they were missing, to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys when they were found by a pair of British divers 10 days later. The most unsafe part is the first kilometer, during which the divers and boys are required to squeeze through a narrow, flooded channel. Followers around the world were gripped for weeks while rescuers were unsure if they would be able to get the boys out. We congratulate all of those involved, including Dr Richard Harris and his dive partner Craig Challen, as well as our Australian Federal Police divers and personnel from the Australian Defence Force and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who provided logistics and planning expertise.

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