Thai soccer players, coach rescued from cave released from hospital

Thai cave boys leave hospital for first public appearance since rescue

"At least we were doing something".

When told of the news of the death of one of the Navy Seals, the boys said they were shocked and felt guilty about being the cause of his death.

While they had preplanned the trip, communicating on Facebook, they brought no food and or drinking water.

Some of the boys are stateless, and the process of granting them Thai citizenship is under way, officials confirmed. The man asked how many were still alive - and upon hearing that all 13 had survived, the diver replied, "Brilliant".

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"We tried to dig out as we thought we can not only wait for authorities to get us", the coach said.

Adun speaks English, Burmese, Mandarin and Thai and played an important role in the rescue by acting as interpreter for the British divers.

But Challen told Australian television program Four Corners that it was likely the bravest boys who left first.

Adul is originally from Myanmar.

Everyone was very happy, the boys said.

"Everyone was so happy when they heard the noise of the divers".

"My mind couldn't work quickly enough", Adun Sam-on said. "When we were trapped inside, I immediately thought, 'I am going to get scolded, ' " said one boy.

The group had planned to explore the Tham Luang cave complex after football practice on June 23, but a monsoon downpour flooded the tunnels, trapping them. I didn't know what to [say] to them.

They went farther in - to a point where the boys would have to swim to continue any deeper inside the cave network, the coach said.

At first, the replies were muted, but they soon grew more forceful.

A week after their rescue, doctors discharged the team from the hospital where they had been recovering and said they were healthy and ready for normal life. They later learned that the flooding was driven by a severe rainstorm.

Hugs and tears greeted numerous boys when they made their way home.

"This is my big experience that makes me stronger", said 11-year old Chanin Wiboonrungrueang. "But if I don't pull two times, then pull me back".

"Everyday, the boys tried to dig a hole by using stone pieces to find an exit despite having no food to eat", Col Pak commented. "We went into the cave because everyone wanted to see it".

In a news conference fashioned like a talk show, they introduced themselves, smiled and bowed before television cameras, with their friends and families close by.

All twelve players of a young football team along with their coach were evacuated after the three-day-long rescue operations.

"We tried to dig [ourselves] out". They conceded that they would have to spend the night in the cave and searched for a place to shelter. After finding a safe spot, they prayed. To preserve their batteries, they used one flashlight at a time. They said they were only supposed to be in there for one hour.

Authorities had required journalists to submit their questions in advance, warning that reporters asking "risky questions" could break the law.

"It should help the Thailand Moves Forward show's ratings shoot through the roof", he added.

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 became trapped there.

The boys mourned over the volunteer diver, a former Navy SEAL who died in the rescue operation, apologizing to families and those who joined the rescue for their carelessness. He has since been hailed as a hero who sacrificed himself for the boys' safety.

Their efforts were to no avail, Ekkapol said, adding: "Almost everyone can swim". "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".

The team's plight spurred prayers and vigils in Thailand and transfixed people around the world.

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