Father of Australian Doctor Who Helped Rescue Trapped Thai Soccer Team Dies

Father of Australian Doctor Who Helped Rescue Trapped Thai Soccer Team Dies

Adelaide anaesthetist and underwater cave explorer Richard Harris - known as Harry - is understood to have been the last person to leave the cave overnight, having played a crucial role in the complex mission to save the young boys and their coach.

"This is an important event in my life".

Wat Rong Khun (aka the White Temple) in the city of Chiang Rai, in Chiang Rai province.

"There were times when I cried", he added.

"I'm happy for Thais all over the country", he said.

The news was greeted by global jubilation and the rescue workers were lauded. Virtually every major news outlet in Australia (not to mention every major global news service) ran live updates and lead stories on the mission; Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop gave daily press conferences and US President Donald Trump, not known for his effusions of compassion, even spared a tweet for the rescue effort.

"Hooyah" was the rallying cry of a nation as the rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from the Tham Luang cave system in northern Thailand came to a joyous end.

In the northern city of Chiang Rai, vehicle horns were honked in the street and locals posed for selfies to show where they were when the astounding event happened.

On social media, there has been an outpouring of gratitude directed towards him. "All the 13 Wild Boars are now out of the cave", Thai Navy SEALs posted on Facebook, referring to the football team name.

Other hashtags included #Heroes and #Thankyou.

The remaining four boys and their coach were rescued on Tuesday and were sent to hospital by helicopters.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, speaking Tuesday before the final rescue was completed was asked if the boys had been sedated before the six hour journey.

"We will host a meal for all sides", said Prayuth. "We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what". "All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave", the Navy Seal unit wrote on its official page moments after the rescue.




US President Donald Trump also tweeted his congratulations on the successful multinational rescue effort. "Such a handsome moment - all freed, great job!"

The rescue effort involved Thai and global agencies.

According to AFP, amid the continuously lowering oxygen levels and monsoon rains threatening to flood the cave above the ledge, rescuers chose to opt for the least-worst option of having divers escort them through the tunnels.

Numerous boys could not even swim and none of them had diving experience, so the rescuers trained them how to use a mask and breathe underwater via an oxygen tank.

The boys will remain in hospital for at least a week to ensure they don't have any infectious diseases.

"It was a minor tranquiliser to prevent (the) boys from being anxious", Prayut told reporters.

The first four boys are rushed to hospital after their ordeal.

But there were some promising initial signs.

Now that the boys and their coach are out, medical experts are now focusing on their mental and physical fitness.

Doctors said the team survived because they had water to drink in the cave and are doing well "maybe because they had stayed together as a team". Close to a billion viewers watched as the miners were eventually winched to safety in an operation costing tens of millions of dollars and involving a specially built rescue-capsule designed with help from NASA.

The boys in the team were aged between 11 and 16, while their coach was 25.

Dr Harris was specifically identified by British divers and requested by the "highest levels" of the Thai government to join the rescue, according to the Australian government.

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