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Thai Football Team Learn Of The Death Of Rescuer Saman Kunan

Thai Football Team Learn Of The Death Of Rescuer Saman Kunan

The 12 Thai boys and their football coach who were saved from a flooded cave have thanked their rescuers and well-wishers as they recover.

A hospital statement said as their recovery continues, the boys should avoid mental stress, spend time with only friends and family and avoid media exposure that could trigger post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Officials said they don't want the boys to give interviews to the press, citing worries they could cause them to feel guilt or shame.

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has backed bestowing a bravery award on the Adelaide doctor who played a crucial role in the rescue of the young Thai soccer team from a submerged cave.

Speaking to reporters on home soil on Saturday, Dr Harris described the joy of the remarkable rescue mixed with the "bittersweet" feelings of the passing of his father.

British cave divers Rick Stanton and John Volanthen found the group on July 2, squatting on the ledge in the flooded chamber.

The last boys and the assistant coach were evacuated from the cave on July 10, wrapping up a daring three-day operation.

The last member of the rescue team to leave the Thai cave, Australian doctor Richard Harris, has lost his father.

Fellow divers Chris Jewell and Connor Roe, both from Somerset; Josh Bratchley, from Devon; Jim Warny, from Co Clare, Ireland; Mike Clayton, from Yorkshire; and Gary Mitchell, from Wales, returned home on Friday.

Video released Saturday shows the boys in the hospital as they recover.

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The unprecedented rescue involved scores of Thai and foreign expert cave divers, many of whom have expressed delight and surprise at the success of the mission. We never thank you enough for what you've done for the kids, their families and Thailand.

Thongchai said one member of the final group of four boys and the coach who arrived at a hospital Tuesday evening had a slight lung infection.

"Night was very cold but the coach hugged him, teaching everyone meditation to prevent excessive breathing and to not feel hungry".

"I want pork knuckle rice", said Duangpetch Promtep, 13.

Maj-General Dr Wutthichai Issara, a senior doctor of the third Army Region, told the boys on behalf of the military that the effort to rescue them had been an honour and a mission and brought with it prestige.

Prior to this, the boys, aged between 11 and 16 years old, had no idea that the diver had died.

Saman, 38, was a volunteer who had been engaged in the important mission of helping replace oxygen canisters along the route to where the boys were sheltering to make the hours-long passage possible.

Dr Harris described the operation as a "pretty wonderful experience".