Thailand cave rescue: Brit divers who found boys 'deserve George Cross'

One of the giant pumps failed after the last of the boys had been rescued causing water levels in the caves to rise dangerously fast

All 12 of the boys and their 25-year-old coach were brought to safety over the course of a three-day rescue, organised by Thai navy SEALs and an global team of diving and caving experts, that ended on Tuesday.

The technology billionaire had designed the miniature submarine, built with rocket parts, to help save the 12 boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand.

Two British divers found the boys on July 2, squatting on a muddy mound in a flooded chamber several kiometres inside the complex, nine days after they went for their quick jaunt.

Mr Volanthen also paid tribute to Thai navy diver Saman Kunan, who died while replenishing oxygen canisters, saying his death was an "absolute tragedy" and brought a "bittersweet" taste to an otherwise "excellent" operation.

France midfielder Paul Pogba called them "heroes of the day" and dedicated to them his country's 1-0 win over Belgium.

All are now recovering in hospital after the ordeal.

The extraordinary operation to save the boys came to an end on Tuesday, when the Thai Navy SEAL rescuers and a doctor followed the last four boys and their coach out of the cave complex. "The boys were wrapped up in stretchers already when they were being transferred".

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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. They were told to remain calm and motionless as two divers prepared to tug them through murky waters and along guide ropes that had been put in place.

When the Wild Boars football team was located deep inside the cave, after being missing for a week, the Adelaide anaesthetist abandoned his holiday in Thailand and volunteered to help.

"Some have had muscle infections, cold, flu, and some psychologists have been taking care of them to relieve stress", Health Ministry Inspector Lertvirairatanapong said. It was nice to be a part of that and I would do it again given the option.

"Theoretically, all people must be under the care and protection of being a citizen of at least one state, but in reality there are more than 500,000 persons in Thailand who do not have any nationality, even though they are born and raised in Thailand", Surapong said.

"It was dark so we all had head lamps, and there was one spotlight". He's got a very bouncy Australian accent and they [the rescued boys] seemed to find that quite relaxing and reassuring.

He said, "The situation went beyond just being a rescue mission and became a symbol of unity among man".

"KBL is proud to be involved in the Thailand cave rescue mission", the company in a statement said.

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