Thai cave rescue: Tearful reunion as parents catch first glimpse of boys

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Mr Stanton, from Coventry, spoke as he returned to the United Kingdom on Friday morning along with some of the other British divers who took part in the search and rescue mission.

"I want to tell the guys that I miss them and that I want to hug them", Wild Boars teammate Supaghid Pragaihong told news agency Agence France-Presse.

British cave-diver John Volanthen walks out from Tham Luang Nang Non cave in full kit without any response to reporter's questions, June 28, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Without the (Thai navy) SEALs, the officials, and everyone who came and helped, Dom wouldn't be here today.

The boys, ranging in age from 11 to 16, became trapped on June 23 after the cave system was flooded during a monsoon.

It's an inspiring story fit for Hollywood: 12 courageous young soccer players trapped in a flooded cave for two weeks, dauntless rescuers risking life and limb to save the team, a wave of support from dozens of countries as the world watched with bated breath for the rescuers to emerge victorious with the Wild Boars safe in hand.

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Studio co-founder Michael Scott, who lives in Thailand, said his wife had grown up with Saman Gunan, the former Thai Navy Seal member who lost his life during the mission.

Rick Stanton, who was one of the first British divers to approach the team in the cave on July 2, described the relief he felt as he learned the boys were all alive.

The IT tech said that the divers were not heroes and directed attention to the rest of his team and the Thai Navy Seals.

"What we do is very calculating".

Narongsak Osottanakorn confirmed that all 12 boys and their coach are recovering well, and doctors have said there is no need to worry about their physical and mental health.

They were found 10 days later, huddled on a small, dry shelf just above the water, and divers and other global rescuers plotted the complex mission to rescue the team before more rain came.

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"They had already been doing the most extraordinary dives through the cave and laying the very robust rope which made all subsequent dives to the soccer team not only possible, but safe", he wrote.

"We were very, very pleased it worked out quite so well".

The 12 Thai boys and their coach before they went into the cave.

A mother of one of the SEAL members who participated in this operation, Sumalee Maksri, said she was delighted that her son successfully completed his mission, adding that she previously felt anxious because he did not give any details of his assignment.

"But I think at that point we realized the enormity of the situation and that's perhaps why it took awhile to get them all out".

"It's an absolute tragedy", he said.

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