Thai soccer kids make victory signs from hospital beds

An ambulance carrying rescued schoolboys leaves from Tham Luang cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai Thailand

Image An ambulance leaves from Tham Luang cave complex on Tuesday

The Wild Boars soccer team and their coach are expected to spend a week in hospital.

The Wild Boars players are now recovering at a hospital in Chiang Rai.

The first pictures and video have been released from the Chiang Rai hospital where 12 boys and their coach are being treated after being rescued from a flooded cave system on Tuesday.

An American involved in the operation described the perilous zero-visibility dives that brought the boys out safely as a "once in a lifetime rescue". He told the Associated Press Wednesday that the boys lost about two kilograms of weight during their time in the cave. The boys range in age from 11 to 16.

"The important thing is. personal space", Prayuth told reporters.

That gutsy determination was on display today in a video taken from the hospital isolation ward.

The boys and their coach remain quarantined at Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital in northern Chiang Rai province, while they recover from a variety of minor ailments, Thai officials said at a news conference Wednesday.

"It might be because they were all together as a team", public health ministry inspector general Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong told reporters. They would then need to recuperate at home for 30 days, he said. Three boys from the last group saved have ear infections.

"I haven't asked the coach yet why he chose that order", he said. All 12 boys were recently evacuated from Tham Luang Nang Non, Thailand's longest cave, where they had been trapped inside with their soccer coach since June 23. Lit by several beams of white light, the divers in wet suits and helmets are seen submerging themselves in the water and grabbing on to a metal dive line used to guide them through the winding channels of the six-mile cave.

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Thailand's navy SEALs, who played a central part in the rescue effort, wrote on their Facebook page: "We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what".

The four boys rescued Sunday can eat normal food and walk around, and the four pulled out Monday were eating soft food.

He lauded the co-operation between Thai and global rescuers. He said, "The situation went beyond just being a rescue mission and became a symbol of unity among man".

According to the rescue operation chief Narongsak Osottanakorn, the United Nations also dispatched many experienced divers to help.

None of the children could previously swim and it is clear from the footage that rescuers had been too anxious that they might panic underwater to risk trusting them to simply scuba dive out of the flooded cave system.

The method was extremely risky, but dwindling oxygen levels in the cave and fears of more monsoon rains to come made a decision urgent.

Police officers took photographs of each other at the massive cave entrance, as pumps continued to suck out huge volumes of water.

They were found dishevelled and emaciated but alive on a muddy ledge 4km inside the cave nine days after they went missing.

"That is important so these children can reintegrate little by little into their old environment, because they will be very traumatised and vulnerable".

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