Thai boys were passed ‘sleeping’ through cave — rescue diver

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A screen grab shows boys rescued from the Thai cave wearing mask and resting in a hospital in Chiang Rai, Thailand from a July 11, 2018 handout video. (REUTERS/Via handout)
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A handout photo from the Royal Thai Navy shows the last four Thai Navy SEALs giving a thumbs up after exiting safely from the Tham Luang cave following the rescue of the remaining four boys and their coach on Tuesday, July 10. (AFP)
Updated 11 July 2018
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Thai boys were passed ‘sleeping’ through cave — rescue diver

CHIANG RAI, Thailand: The boys rescued from a Thai cave were passed “sleeping” on stretchers through the treacherous pathways, a former Thai Navy SEAL who was the last diver to leave the Tham Luang complex said Wednesday.
The details of the complex operation are among the first to emerge from a rescue effort to save 12 boys and their football coach that has been shrouded in secrecy since it began on Sunday and ended successfully three days later.

Footage was released on Wednesday of the boys in high-spirits and in good health in hospital beds by the Thai government.
“Some of them were asleep, some of them were wiggling their fingers... (as if) groggy, but they were breathing,” Commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong said, adding that doctors stationed along the dark corridors of the Tham Luang cave were constantly checking their condition and pulse.
“My job was to transfer them along,” he said, adding the “boys were wrapped up in stretchers already when they were being transferred.”
Thailand’s junta chief told reporters on Tuesday that the group had been given a “minor tranquilizer” to help calm their nerves.
But he denied they were knocked out for the miraculous rescue.
The lack of information about the meticulously planned rescue had baffled observers given that the team were extracted safely.
The members of the “Wild Boars” team, aged 11-16, had no experience in scuba diving, and the death of an ex-Navy SEAL who had helped install oxygen tanks in preparation for the rescue underscored the dangers of the mission.
Thailand said it had called on 13 “world class” divers to help with the unprecedented job, one of whom was Australian Richard “Harry” Harris, a diver and professional anesthetist.
Rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters on Wednesday that the entire operation would not have been possible without the unique skills that Harris brought to the mission, though he did not elaborate.
The international 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.


Pakistan frees Norwegian journalist detained last week

Updated 6 min 28 sec ago
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Pakistan frees Norwegian journalist detained last week

GUJRAT, Pakistan: Pakistani police say a Norwegian journalist who was arrested last week during clashes between police and supporters of ex-premier Nawaz Sharif has been freed on bail.
Gujrat Officer Mohammad Ashraf said Tuesday that Kadafi Zaman, who is of Pakistani origin, was arrested Friday after officers assumed he was one of the protesters from Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League Party. He said Zaman was freed Monday.
Zaman’s release came after the International Press Institute, a Vienna, Austria, based global network of editors, media executives and journalists for media freedom, asked Pakistan to drop charges against him.
Zaman, who works for the Norwegian broadcasting company TV 2, was arrested while covering a rally organized to welcome Sharif on his return from London to face a 10-year prison sentence for corruption.