Thailand Cave Rescue: Boys Seen in Hospital Video After Daring Rescue

Playing Thai Boys in High Spirits Following Cave Rescue

Wearing hospital gowns and face masks, the boys rescued from a deep, dark mine in Thailand appeared to be in good spirits Wednesday following their dramatic rescue earlier this week.

Clearly elated to be back above ground, one of the boys flashed a "victory" hand gesture.

The footage came as various outlets reported the boys and their soccer coach were sedated to prevent them from panicking or struggling as divers ferried them through black waters and cliff sides.

The Thai Navy Seals also released video showing the three-day effort to free the boys.

"Some of them were asleep, and some of them were wiggling their fingers, kind of groggy, but they were breathing. My job was to transfer them along," former Navy Seal Chaiyananta Peeranarong told the AFP news agency.

Each boy was strapped to a diver, who shepherded him to the surface, stopping in dry areas along the way, where the boys were carried on stretchers.

The complex operation saw four boys rescued Sunday, four more on Monday and the last four on Tuesday, along with the team's coach.

Members of the Wild Boars soccer team, ranging in age from 11 to 16, entered the cave with their coach during dry weather. They were cut off on June 23 after heavy rains flooded the cave complex.

They survived on snacks they brought with them and by drinking water running down cave walls, authorities said. When divers reached them later, they brought additional food, water and blankets. 

As time wore on, officials decided to risk rescuing the boys by having divers carry them one-by-one to the surface. 

"We had a little bit of hope that they might still be alive but we had to do it, we just had to move forward," said Navy Seal Rear Adm. Arpakorn Yuukongkaew. "There was only a tiny bit of hope, but that's all we had to work with."

RELATED STORIES

Emily Mobley, Who Was Pulled From Cave in 1991, Monitoring Thailand Rescue Effort

8th Boy Emerges on Second Day of Dangerous Thailand Cave Rescue Mission

4 of 12 Boys Trapped in Thailand Cave Have Been Rescued