Thai cave rescue boys told to 'make most of their lives' by departing navy Seal commander

Adam Withnall

The young footballers rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand have been told to “make the most” of the second chance at life they have given by the heroic efforts of an international rescue team.

Doctors said on Thursday that the boys are recovering well from infections they suffered during the 17-day ordeal, and earlier consented to the first footage of the children being broadcast around the world.

The clean-up at the Tham Luang cave complex continues, with the site not expected to reopen to the public for at least six months.

But as he departed the site in northern Chiang Rai province, the commander of the jubilant Thai navy Seals unit that led the rescue stopped to leave a message to the “Wild Boars” team.

“Make the most of your lives. Be good people, be a force for good for your country,” Rear Admiral Apakorn Yuukongkaew said in a message to the boys, before he boarded a flight.

He added: “Hooyah,” the military rallying cry that has been picked up and adopted by a nation in Thailand, as they followed every update on the rescue issued by the Seals online.

Health officials said the boys would spend at least a week in hospital and about 30 days recovering at home. The video of them, released late on Wednesday, showed smiling patients wearing face masks and hospital gowns, giving peace signs to the camera.

The boys’ families have at last been given permission to visit them, albeit wearing protective gowns and masks. The two boys rescued in the first group on Sunday who were diagnosed with a lung infection were recovering well, the Thai health ministry said, while three boys from the last group have ear infections.

Elsewhere on Thursday, Thai navy Seals arriving back at the U-Tapao civil-military airport in Rayong province, near their home base, were given a heroes’ welcome when they touched down.

Those involved in the rescue were give large garlands made from marigolds as navy officers and proud civilians stood by. Some well-wishers at the air base prepared red roses.

“All Thais are proud of you ... You have made a name for the Seals unit,” a senior navy official told those gathered.

And in London, one of the world-leading British volunteer divers involved in the rescue played down his heroics as he touched down at Heathrow.

There have been calls for John Volanthen and Rick Stanton to be honoured after they were the first divers to reach the stranded group after more than nine days lost and uncontactable in the underground network of twisting tunnels and chambers.

Mr Volanthen, an IT consultant in his forties, spoke of the “relief” he felt at seeing the boys rescued and was modest about his part in the extraordinary feat.

“We were very pleased and we were very relieved that they were all alive but I think at that point we realised the enormity of the situation and that’s perhaps why it took a while to get them all out,” he told Sky News.

He added: “We are not heroes. What we do is very calculating, very calm. It’s quite the opposite.”

Mr Volanthen also paid tribute to Thai navy diver Saman Kunan, who died while replenishing oxygen canisters, saying his death brought a “bittersweet” taste to an otherwise “excellent” operation.

Mr Kunan is to receive a royal-sponsored funeral ceremony. In an Instagram tribute on Thursday, his wife Valeepoan Kunan wrote: “I love you so much.”

“I miss you,” she added. “I love you like you are my very heart...from now on when I wake up...who will I kiss?”

During the rescue, some Thais said on social media that the soccer team had been reckless in entering the cave during the monsoon season. But Ms Kunan absolved them of responsibility. She told reporters: “I want to tell the boys; please don’t blame yourselves.”

  • Novichok poisonings: victim Charlie Rowley released from hospital
    News
    The Guardian

    Novichok poisonings: victim Charlie Rowley released from hospital

    Charlie Rowley’s evidence about how he came into contact with novichok may prove vital to find would-be killers who targeted the Skripals. A Wiltshire man poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent has been discharged from hospital 12 days after his partner died after exposure to the same substance. Hospital bosses made it clear that Charlie Rowley had been decontaminated and posed no risk to the community.

  • Cliff Richard and freedom of the press
    News
    The Guardian

    Cliff Richard and freedom of the press

    Sir Cliff Richard with his lawyer, Gideon Benaim, outside the Rolls Building in London where he was awarded more than £200,000 in damages after winning his high court privacy battle against the BBC over its coverage of a police search of his home in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in 2014. Media commentators are already declaiming Justice Mann’s judgment in favour of Cliff Richard over the BBC as a “dark day for press freedom”. The public interest and public prurience should not be conflated.

  • Quitting EU could hit UK households by up to 960 pounds a year - report
    News
    Reuters

    Quitting EU could hit UK households by up to 960 pounds a year - report

    Quitting the EU could leave British households up to 960 pounds worse off each year, according to a report. Households will face higher prices as they absorb costs from labour changes, tariffs, and red tape, it said, whilst consumer businesses could see profits slump by 1-4 percent. The report by consulting firm Oliver Wyman focused on five different Brexit scenarios, where the size of the annual economic impact would vary between 245 and 960 pounds depending on whether the UK avoids EU tariffs.

  • Dynasty then and now: How the 2017 cast compares
    Digital Spy

    Dynasty then and now: How the 2017 cast compares

    They haven't just changed the setting. From Digital Spy

  • News
    Business Insider UK

    Lyle goes out with a birdie at the British Open

    Sandy Lyle has a green jacket and his name on the claret jug. This is the final year of eligibility for the 60-year-old Lyle, who played his first British Open in 1974 as a 16-year-old amateur. The only way back is to win the Senior British Open, so the Scot isn't giving up on it just yet.

  • U.S. court rejects Allergan bid to shield patents through tribe deal
    News
    Business Insider UK

    U.S. court rejects Allergan bid to shield patents through tribe deal

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said a tribunal run by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has authority to review the validity of patents covering Allergan's dry eye drug Restasis. Allergan spokeswoman Amy Rose declined to comment.

  • Resident Captures San Marcos Apartment Building on Fire
    Storyful

    Resident Captures San Marcos Apartment Building on Fire

    At least six people were injured during an apartment-building fire that sparked during the early morning of July 20 in San Marcos, Texas. Lacy Schoenherr, a resident at Iconic Village Apartments, took this video of her apartment building on fire. Schoenherr told a reporter at KVUE that she received a text message from her roommate that their apartment was burning. Schoenherr said they were planning to move out just five days later, according to the reporter. The fire was reported around 5 am at Iconic Village Apartments, near the campus of Texas State University. The fire started at one building and spread to another, according to KXAN. One building at Vintage Pads, a student accommodation across the street, was also damaged. At least 200 people were affected by the fire, KXAN reported. Credit: Lacy Schoenherr via Storyful

  • Edmonton fire: 50 firefighters tackle tower block blaze in north London
    News
    Evening Standard

    Edmonton fire: 50 firefighters tackle tower block blaze in north London

    Fifty firefighters are tackling a blaze in a tower block in north London. A sixth-floor flat is alight in a 23-floor tower by the North Mall in Edmonton, a spokeswoman for the London Fire Brigade said. One man has been led to safety through an internal staircase while around 50 residents left the building before crews arrived, a statement from LFB said.

  • Historic deal on shared Macedonian identity must be honoured
    News
    The Guardian

    Historic deal on shared Macedonian identity must be honoured

    The prime ministers of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, left, and Greece, Alexis Tsipras, on the day they signed the agreement. Photograph: Maja Zlatevska/AFP/Getty Images

  • Kuwait beauty blogger slammed for 'racist' post about Filipino migrants
    News
    The Independent

    Kuwait beauty blogger slammed for 'racist' post about Filipino migrants

    A Kuwaiti social media star is under fire for complaining about changes to the country’s kafala system which now give Filipino migrant workers the right to days off and to keep control of their own passports. In a video posted to Instagram earlier this week, Sondos Alqattan, a beauty blogger and influencer with 2.3 million followers on the social network, said: “The new laws that have been passed are pathetic. “How can you have a servant at home who gets to keep their passport with them?

  • News
    Business Insider UK

    Baby who was in US court now will be back in dad's arms

    A year-old boy who became a poster child for the U.S. policy of separating immigrants and their children was on his way home to the arms of his parents Friday, five months after he was taken from his father at the U.S. border. Johan Bueso Montecinos was on a jet bound for San Pedro Sulas from the United States, after Honduran consular officials and U.S. authorities worked out arrangements. Captured by Border Patrol agents almost instantly upon arrival, Johan's father was deported — and the 10-month-old remained at an Arizona shelter, in the custody of the U.S. government.

  • 2019 Toyota Supra Has Same Body Rigidity As Lexus LFA
    News
    motor1

    2019 Toyota Supra Has Same Body Rigidity As Lexus LFA

    Tada knows that some Supra fans might not accept the new one, but it might be the last non-electrified sports coupe from Toyota.

  • News
    Business Insider UK

    Smithsonian gallery explores diversity in US lynchings

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery acknowledges that people of color have long been missing in the works it exhibits.

  • Porsche Panamera GTS, 718 Cayman T, 911 Speedster VINs Registered
    News
    motor1

    Porsche Panamera GTS, 718 Cayman T, 911 Speedster VINs Registered

    If these filings are accurate, then Porsche has been keeping some closely held secrets from the motoring world.

  • Baltimore lawsuit blames oil and gas companies for climate change
    News
    Business Insider UK

    Baltimore lawsuit blames oil and gas companies for climate change

    Baltimore filed a lawsuit on Friday against 26 oil and gas companies and entities, including BP Plc, Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp, for knowingly contributing to what the city called the catastrophic consequences of climate change. It was the latest in a string of cases attempting to hold oil and gas companies responsible for climate change caused by carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, and came a day after a U.S. judge dismissed a similar suit by New York City. Baltimore is vulnerable to any rise in sea level because it has 60 miles (96 km) of coastline and one of the country's largest ports, according to the complaint, which points to research linking oil and gas production with rising sea levels.

  • Minis Could Keep Getting Bigger, And Batteries Are To Blame
    News
    motor1

    Minis Could Keep Getting Bigger, And Batteries Are To Blame

    The 2019 Countryman is the largest Mini ever – and also the first with a hybrid setup.

  • Big tech firms agree on 'data portability' plan
    News
    AFP

    Big tech firms agree on 'data portability' plan

    Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter unveiled plans Friday to make it easier for users to take their personal data and leave one online service for another.

  • The founder of a $500 million baked-goods empire says the 2 qualities that made her successful were the hardest to learn
    News
    Business Insider UK

    The founder of a $500 million baked-goods empire says the 2 qualities that made her successful were the hardest to learn

    Kathleen King, founder of Tate's Bake Shop, recently passed her legacy into new hands when the company sold to Mondolēz International for $500 million. It's a success she didn't achieve without a few setbacks, she previously told Business Insider. After producing baked goods at a lower quality and refusing to pay some of the bills, the partners ultimately fired King and locked her out of the very bakeshop she founded.

  • News
    Business Insider UK

    Pop artist Robert Indiana's cause of death 'undetermined'

    A medical examiner has been unable to determine the cause of pop artist Robert Indiana's death, but a spokesman says the death was not suspicious. Indiana's "LOVE" series is instantly recognizable around the world. Indiana died May 19 at age 89 at his Vinalhaven Island home 15 miles (24 kilometers) off the Coast of Maine.

  • Mississippi casinos not ready for sports betting as laws take effect
    News
    Business Insider UK

    Mississippi casinos not ready for sports betting as laws take effect

    The Gardenia State's casinos that have applied to offer athletics wagering as early as Sunday are still carving out space in their businesses to build sports bars and working to meet other state requirements before they can be approved, Commissioner Allen Godfrey said. "Right now, the ones wanting to get started are still in the renovation phase," he said, noting it will likely be another two weeks before a casino is approved to take sports bets.

  • Ukrainian hunger striker 'on edge of life and death' in Siberian prison
    News
    The Independent

    Ukrainian hunger striker 'on edge of life and death' in Siberian prison

    Ukrainian prisoner Oleh Sentsov, on hunger strike for the last 68 days, is on the edge of life and death, his cousin Natalya Kaplan has told The Independent. The case against him was formally terrorism, but many believe the real reason was his active opposition to Russia’s annexation. In May, he announced a hunger strike – the aim of which, he said, was not his own freedom, but that of several dozen Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia.

  • Suspect in Olympic Figure-Skater Killing Questioned by Kazakh Police
    Storyful

    Suspect in Olympic Figure-Skater Killing Questioned by Kazakh Police

    Kazakh police brought a man who confessed to killing 25-year-old Olympic figure skater Denis Ten to the scene of the crime for questioned on July 20, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Ten was stabbed in the torso after a dispute with two men who were trying to steal his rear-view mirrors off his car, reports said. The suspect, Nuraly Qiyasov, was detained on July 20, according to reports. citing Almaty city prosecutor Berik Zhuiriktaev. Kazakh media reported that a second suspect, Arman Kudaibegenov, had also been arrested. Denis Ten was the first Kazakh to win a Olympic medal for figure skating. Credit: Current Time via Storyful

  • Best personalised name necklaces
    News
    Evening Standard

    Best personalised name necklaces

    Add a refined and elegant piece to your everyday jewellery wardrobe with these name necklaces that you can personalise according to your style. In gold, rose gold or silver and with different fonts available, you can customise your very own name to your individual taste accompanied by subtle and delicate chain. This name necklace from Argos will allow you to create your very own personalised piece in 9ct gold and sterling silver variations.

  • News
    Business Insider UK

    Russian space agency confirms security agency search

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's space agency is confirming that federal security agents have searched two of its daughter operations, following a report that their workers were suspected of treason for cooperating with the West.

  • Brexit: Andrea Leadsom ‘hated’ Theresa May’s Chequers plan and warned it betrayed the referendum result
    News
    The Independent

    Brexit: Andrea Leadsom ‘hated’ Theresa May’s Chequers plan and warned it betrayed the referendum result

    The leading Brexiteer said she “hated” the proposals and viewed them as “breaching the government's red lines”, leaked minutes of the meeting at the prime minister’s country retreat reveal. Strikingly, two other anti-Brexit cabinet ministers – Esther McVey and Penny Mordaunt – have declined to give their public backing to the Chequers white paper. Mr Javid said “free movement had to end” and that there could be “no back door” for EU workers beyond current international obligations, The Daily Telegraph reported.