Thai Boys Wave to the World in First Video Since Their Rescue

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The Tham Luang cave complex lies under the mountains in Thailand's northernmost province, on the border with Myanmar.

After nearly three weeks trapped in the dark, away from their loved ones in a cave in northern Thailand, the boys, aged between 11 and 16, were allowed to see their relatives in a carefully controlled environment, as doctors are still concerned about their health.

He credited Australian medic and diver Dr. Richard "Harry" Harris and three Thai Navy SEALs for staying with the boys and coach deep in the cave and keeping them calm and encouraged while plans were being hatched to get them out. The children were well taken care of in the cave.

The global bid to extract the team garnered attention from around the world after the team found themselves trapped on June 23 when they entered the cave after practice and were blocked by floodwaters.

Rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told a news conference the boys were just being children when they got lost, and no one was to blame.

The first video of the Thai boys rescued from a flooded cave after 17 days was released on Wednesday, showing them smiling and waving from their hospital beds, looking thin but fine after an ordeal that has gripped the world.

The boys appeared to be in good spirits on Wednesday following their rescue earlier on Tuesday, reports Inside Edition.

But Chaiyananta, whose job was to help transfer the kids along between chambers two and three, said they were all "sleeping" on the harrowing journey out.

"From our assessment, they are in good condition and not stressed".

The boys seem to be going through progressive stages once they reach the hospital.

But they pressed on and, on July 8, the rescue began.

The saga is reminiscent of the 2010 rescue of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped for 69 days, a tale that was turned into the 2015 movie "The 33" starring Antonio Banderas.

"On behalf of the operation unit, we want to send our condolences to him and I do have to thank him a lot", he said.

During the roughly nine-hour rescue operation, the boys were underwater for four to six hours, according to Jedsada Chokedamrongsook, the permanent secretary of the Thai Health Ministry. They will remain in hospital in the nearby city of Chiang Rai for a week, followed by a week's recuperation at home.

The extensive search-and-rescue operation, which included more than 1,000 people from various nations, has now switched to a treatment process.

Each boy was accompanied underwater by two divers carrying their oxygen tanks for them, and guiding them through the murky tunnels. They were carried by stretcher in the compartments that hadn't flooded. "They have to help each other".

"The favourable outcome that has been achieved is nearly beyond our imagination when we first became involved", they said.

At least one film production house was already working on a scheme to make a Hollywood treatment out of the heroics of divers, cavers and medics who risked their lives to free the "Wild Boars".

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