Banphot Konkum, the uncle of Duangpetch Promthep, one of the boys rescued from a flooded cave, wipes his eyes as he watches Duangpetch and the rest of the boys live on television recalling their ordeal in the cave at his home in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Banphot Konkum, the uncle of Duangpetch Promthep, one of the boys rescued from a flooded cave, wipes his eyes as he watches Duangpetch and the rest of the boys live on television recalling their ordeal in the cave at his home in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Thai soccer players rescued from cave meet the media

Members of the Thai youth soccer team who were trapped in a cave have left the hospital where they have been treated since their rescue.

The 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from a cave in northern Thailand left the hospital where they had been recuperating and appeared at a news conference Wednesday, looking healthy as they answered questions from journalists from around the world.

The group entered the news conference to applause from reporters and classmates and put on a quick demonstration of their ball-handling skills on a miniature soccer field set up in the hall where they met the media.

They then hugged their friends before taking seats up front with doctors and members of the Thai navy SEAL unit who dived to help bring them out, along with others who helped them during their ordeal.

Doctors said the 13 were healthy in body and mind. They said the boys gained around 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) on average since they were rescued from the cave. They were said to have lost an average of 4 kilograms (9 pounds) during the more than two weeks they were trapped in the cave.

The news conference was the first opportunity the members of the team had to speak directly to the media, though video of them was released previously. Officials reviewed questions in advance to make certain none might cause damaging psychological effects.

Related: Daring rescue saves all 12 boys, soccer coach from Thai cave

Related: Elon Musk apologizes for calling cave rescue diver a ‘pedo’

They were asked about the moment when two British cave divers first found them and also the circumstances of how they entered the cave and got trapped there.

The Wild Boars teammates had entered the Tham Luang cave on June 23 for what was to be a quick, relaxing excursion after soccer practice. But rain began falling while they were underground, and water filled the caverns, cutting off their escape.

The British divers found the group huddling on a spot of dry ground deep inside the cave nearly 10 days later, hungry but generally healthy. An international team of rescuers using diving equipment and pulleys extracted the 12 boys, who range in age from 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach through the tight, flooded passageways over three days, concluding July 10.

Some of the boys were treated for minor infections during their hospital stay, but all 13 have been described as recovering well.

The family of one of the boys was preparing their home for his return Wednesday night.

Banphot Konkum, an uncle who has raised 13-year-old Duangpetch Promthep, said he’ll have a renovated bedroom and gifts awaiting him.

“We’ll do whatever he wants. If he wants anything we’ll buy it for him as a present as we promised that when he gets out, whatever he wants we’ll do it for him,” Banphot said.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue had a helicopter rescue in Golden Ears Park on Saturday. (Special to The News)
Helicopter Rescue in Golden Ears park

Ridge Meadows search team assists injured hiker

A vehicle incident is blocking the eastbound lanes on Lougheed Highway at Jim Robson Way in Maple Ridge on Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Google)
TRAFFIC: Lougheed Highway cleared in Maple Ridge, expect congestion

Earlier, eastbound lanes at Jim Robson Way were closed

CP Rail intends to create a logistics park with fuel and grain storage in Pitt Meadows. (Special to The News)
LETTER: CP’s history in Pitt Meadows does not bode well for the future

National rail company needs to be a better neighbour if it wants to expand operations

The pandemic has sent the price of dogs skyrocketing. A local letter writers asks some questions about having pets. (Black Press Media files)
LETTER: Maple Ridge resident questions people’s views on pets

People owe pets the same love and commitment they show to humans, a letter writer contends

Horse riders are struggling to find parking for their vehicles and trailers in Golden Ears Provincial Park. (Crystal Ireland/Special to The News)
Petition for equestrian parking spaces in Maple Ridge park gets huge response

Horse riders say their parking lots have been overtaken by cars in Golden Ears Provincial Park

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Singletree Winery in Abbotsford has opened two domes where customers can enjoy wine tastings and local goodies. (Photo by Megan Ashley Creative)
Abbotsford winery first in Fraser Valley to open wine-tasting domes

Singletree Winery offers two themed transparent enclosures

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna church fined 2nd time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Most Read