Thai soccer team members who were rescued from a cave last week have been released from the hospital and spoke at a news conference Wednesday.
Update 8:29 a.m. EDT July 18: The news conference has ended.
Update 8:20 a.m. EDT July 18: When asked what they learned from the experience, assistant coach Ekapol “Ake” Chanthawong said he was pleased by the kindness he and the boys were shown and said he plans to be more careful in the future.
When asked what their dreams are, many of the boys said they want to be professional soccer players and navy SEALs.
Chanthawong said rescuers decided who to extract first by taking volunteers.
The boys said they wanted to tell their parents that they are sorry.
Update 8:05 a.m. EDT July 18: The boys said they were saddened to learn that Thai navy SEAL Saman Kunan had died. Assistant coach Ekapol “Ake” Chanthawong said they felt “guilty.” At the news conference, the boys paid tribute to Kunan with personal messages, thanking him for his sacrifice.
Update 7:58 a.m. EDT July 18: The boys described the moment the divers arrived. One boy, who had a torch, walked up to a diver and said “hello,” they said. The boys told the divers they were doing fine, to which a diver replied in English, “Brilliant.” Assistant coach Ekapol “Ake” Chanthawong said he asked a boy to translate. The boys told rescuers that they had been trapped inside the cave for 10 days.
The boys said they all can swim, contradicting early media reports.
Chanthawong said the boys wanted to go into the cave and had not been inside before, the Guardian reported. Water started to pour and they began to head back to the entrance, then realized they were trapped.
At first, the team attempted to dig out of the cave, drank water from the cave’s walls and had no food, Chanthawong and the boys said.
Update 7:24 a.m. EDT July 18: The coach, all 12 boys and three Thai navy SEALs are introducing themselves to the media.
Before the boys started speaking, a health official said the boys have regained their strength and are doing well mentally, according to the Guardian.
Update 7:08 a.m. EDT July 18: The members of the Wild Boars soccer team have arrived at Chiang Rai’s provincial hall for the press conference.