World

Trapped schoolboys given anti-anxiety drugs before Thai cave rescue, officials say

Trapped schoolboys given anti-anxiety drugs before Thai cave rescue, officials say

One of the two British divers who found the group said the rescue operation was "completely uncharted, unprecedented territory", and that he had not been certain the boys would be found alive.

In their search for a safe haven, the boys were reported to have used their hands to feel the walls for an opening to take them to a higher, safer spot.

"We were pleased and very relieved that they were alive", Volanthen said.

"We're not heroes", he told the BBC after arriving back in London. "It's quite the opposite".

All 13 were brought to safety over the course of a three-day rescue, organized by Thai navy SEALs and an worldwide team of cave-diving experts.

The saga started on June 23 when the players walked into the Tham Luang cave complex after football practice and were trapped when monsoon flooding blocked their exit.

During a press conference at Heathrow Airport, Mr Stanton declined to answer any medical questions but said: 'They were carefully handled.

"As they were coming down the slope we were counting them till we got to 13. And so there was relief tempered with uncertainty".




On July 2, Volanthen and Stanton were stringing a safety rope through a flooded area of the cave when they popped up in a cavern and, to their surprise, saw all 12 boys and their coach huddled on a small beach in the darkness of the cave.

Four of the boys were freed last week on Sunday, another four were released on Monday and the final four plus their coach were rescued on Tuesday.

The mother of one of the rescued 12 Wild Boar footballers said she was very happy to be allowed to hug her son for the first time on Friday.

The Thai Navy Seals have released dramatic footage of the operation, giving greater insight into just how unsafe it was.

The Thai Navy SEALs posted a video on Facebook showing the group when they were first found.

"Craig and I have had a spotlight on our efforts and we want to make everyone realise that while we might have become the face of this rescue for some reason, everyone should know that the role we played was no more or less important than all the many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people I have mentioned", he said.

The news comes a day after Pure Flix CEO and managing partner Michael Scott announced that his studio was working on a dramatic adaptation of the events surrounding the trapped Thai soccer team and their 25-year-old coach.


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