'We are not heroes', says United Kingdom diver involved in Thai cave rescue

The boys won’t attend the World Cup final. Pic AAPMore

The cave where 12 young Thai soccer players and their coach were trapped for over two weeks - is set to become a museum, forever preserving the incredible mission to rescue them, an official said.

"The area will become a living museum, to show how to operation unfolded", Narongsak Osottanakorn, the former governor and head of the rescue mission, told a news conference.

In a condolence message to Harris on its Facebook page, the elite Thai Navy unit said, "We wish you the best for this very tough time".

As a group consisting of a medic and several Navy SEALs remained within the cave with the boys, teaching them how to swim and dive and fitting them with SCUBA gear, the mission to bring them out officially began on Sunday, July 8.

On Wednesday, the first footage of the boys convalescing in hospital in the northern city of Chiang Rai emerged, with some, wearing face masks and hospital gowns, giving peace signs for the camera.

With the help of 16 other divers, they ferried the boys and their coach to safety through intense stretches of water.

Doctors, divers and other rescuers were posted along the twisting corridors monitoring the boys as they were passed through using a system of ropes, pulleys and rubber piping. They would then need to recuperate at home for 30 days, he said.

Although parents of the first eight boys rescued were able to see their sons, they had to stand six feet away from the children.

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.

Onlookers at the junction in front of Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital watch and cheer as ambulances transport the last rescued schoolboys and their coach from a nearby helipad to the hospital.

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

The coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, or Ek as he is known, has come under scrutiny as the only adult in the group of 13 who got trapped in the cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai on June 23 during an expedition.

The rescue was carried out by an elite team of worldwide divers, led by Britons, who guided the sluggish youngsters along the tortuous two-and-a-half-mile escape route, the Daily Mail reports.

The most unsafe part of the journey out of the labyrinthine cave system was the first kilometer, during which they were required to squeeze through a narrow flooded channel.

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

Said the SEAL Navy commander: "It was hard but we had to keep fighting".

"We're here really looking at this as a movie that could inspire millions of people across the globe", Scott added. "This mission was successful because of cooperation from everyone", he said. There were volunteers from Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Ukraine and Finland.

On Wednesday, they too were recovering, nursing battered hands and feet from wading through the cold water in the cave to reach the boys.

The rescue has dominated front-page headlines in Thailand and beyond for days. Jessada also said a psychiatrist was attending to the boys, who are sleeping well and are not showing symptoms of stress.

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