Thai boys mourn navy SEAL who died during cave rescue operation

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The 12 boys rescued from a Thai cave have been moved to tears as they paid tribute to the former Navy SEAL who died ahead of their dramatic rescue.

"As a large part of our chosen pursuit of cave diving seems to revolve around ferrying heavy objects in and out of caves, submersing ourselves in frigid waters for many hours and generally abusing our bodies in a multitude of ways, we were beginning to take on the persona of the wet mule itself!" the Wet Mules website says.

Family members no longer need to wear surgical masks when staying with the boys, and they can now stay at their bedsides instead of only being able to view them from afar through glass - a protection against infection instituted in the first days after their rescue.

All are expected to leave hospital on Thursday.

"She is from Chiang Rai so when Rick was asked to come and help rescue the missing boys Amp was right by his side".

At home we must thank our families for dealing with the media and the worry we caused them (they are used to the latter I fear).

He explained local, and British divers who Dr Harris described as "the awesome foursome", had already laid terrific groundwork to ensure the success of the gruelling mission. Australian anaesthetist and diver Richard "Harry" Harris posted new details of the audacious rescue operation on Facebook, saying he had "never seen anything like it".

An global team of elite diving experts and Thai Navy SEALS launched the heroic rescue bid, which was dubbed "D-Day".

"I am healthy", said Panumas Saengdee, 13. A total of 90 divers were involved in the Thai-led rescue, according to Thai authorities.

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The coach also dug them into the muddy wall to keep warm and sleep.

The 12 boys were only told of the navy SEALs death on Saturday.

They were found nine days later, and the complex rescue took several days to plan and more than 100 volunteers to complete.

"Dr Harris's efforts here are nothing short of absolutely exceptional and beyond and above the call of duty, but that's typical of numerous doctors that make up the medical profession in Australia", he said.

Earlier, Dr Harris thanked all of the global volunteers and Thai rescue workers.

"Laboratory results of all 13 persons are negative for risky infectious diseases, and they will be discharged from the hospital as soon as possible", officials said in a statement.

Photos show the boys, aged 11 to 16, paying respect to an image of Gunan, which is surrounded by messages of thanks penned by the boys.

The Thai Navy SEALs issued a statement on July 11 thanking the South Australian for his incredible efforts.

The mission was "an order of difficulty much higher than anything that's been accomplished anywhere around the world by any other cave diving team", said Stanton.

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