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

Footage of divers pulling the last boys to safety from the flooded cave

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"They, all 13 of them, saw a small passage or a crawl space, so they all dug the hole to get through to another spot, until they found Nen Nom Sao", Banphot said, referring to the sandy slope on which they ended up sheltering.

The Thai Navy SEALs received their own heroes' welcome back at base.

Mallison and his British diving colleague, John Volanthen, were given medals of honor and certificates of appreciation by Thai military officials Thursday before they flew back to Great Britain.

Wild Boars head coach Nopparat Khantavong said his remaining players were in good spirits after returning to practice knowing their friends were safe. Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osatanakorn announced on Monday that the boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach were being rescued from Tham Luang Nang Non cave after they were discovered by naval special forces and the challenge now will be to extract the party safely.

In this image made from video, released by the Thailand Government Spokesman Bureau, three of the 12 boys are seen recovering in their hospital beds after being rescued along with their coach from a flooded cave in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand.

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

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The rescue took more than two weeks.

"You are very strong", Volanthen told the group. A tearful woman, who said she was from Thailand, presented Volanthen with a box of candy and thanked him for his work in the life-saving mission that captured the attention of the world.

Fellow British rescuers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton said that Dr Richard "Harry" Harris had a great relationship with the boys while they were trapped in the cave system, the Herald Sun reports.

"We're not heroes, what we do is very calculating, very calm, it's quite the opposite".

There was joy and relief in Thailand on Tuesday evening when the final five were freed from the cave after a tricky three-day operation.

Kham-oey Promthep, the grandmother of Duangpetch Promthep, the rescued captain of the "Wild Boars", at Tham Luang cave complex, points to a photo of Duangpetch, in Chiang Rai, Thailand July 12, 2018.

"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", Dr Harris wrote.

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