Cave boys speak of 'miracle' rescue

Thai boys visit temple

Earlier, the boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach left hospital where they have stayed since last week's global effort to extricate them from a flooded cave complex where they had been trapped.

"He sacrificed himself for us to return to our normal life", he said. White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said that Trump's statement was misconstrued and he did mean what he said. It would be another week before they were pulled out to safety in a complicated rescue that included diving them out of the cave.

The 12, who are members of a junior football team, the Wild Boars, appeared in their club's kit at a news conference in Chiang Rai.

The boys, who sported fresh haircuts, have reportedly each gained 6.6lb since they were rescued by a team of expert divers last week.

But cameras flashed away as the now-famous Wild Boars entered the temple, in a sign of the ongoing interest in the story. "So I was wondering how they found us at the right cave".

Authorities organized a tightly controlled press conference with the boys the same evening in which they recounted drinking water that dripped from rocks and trying to dig their way out during the first nine days before they were located by British divers. "I had to think a lot before I could answer their questions", added Adul, who speaks English. "When they said "hello" to me, I said 'hello" back.

The group, who had eaten before going into the caves, took no food on an excursion that was supposed to last only an hour, and had to subsist on water dripping from stalactites, he said.

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Khameuy Promthep, the grandmother of 13-year-old Dom, one of the boys rescued from the cave, said from their family shop in Mae Sai near the Myanmar border yesterday that she was very excited.

The boys looked like they were enjoying the moment - they had just come from the hospital where they had been recuperating for more than a week.

Asked what he had learned from their experience, 13-year-old Mongkol Boonpiam said he felt stronger.

In an expression of gratitude for his sacrifice, they presented a portrait of Kunan signed by the entire team.Linh Pham/Getty ImagesFUTURE PROSPECTSThough numerous boys said they still have dreams of playing professional soccer, when asked who wanted to join the Navy SEALs when they grow up, all 12 raised their hands.

The boys, who returned to their families yesterday night, announced their plan to temporarily ordain as monks to honour the death of Saman Kunan, a Thai Navy SEAL who died during the rescue.

Eventually the team settled on a small muddy ledge some four kilometres inside the cave, figuring all they could do was hope someone would find them.

"I am in big trouble with my mother", one of the boys said. "We tried to dig out as we thought we can not only wait for authorities to get us", the coach said. Though the boys could swim, it wasn't enough to escape, Chantawong added.

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