New footage of the heroic Thailand cave rescue shows the extraordinary moments boys are stretchered to safety and gives more insight into just how dangerous the operation was.
The five-minute video posted to Facebook by the Thai Navy SEAL team and titled Operation the World Never Forget shows the painstaking preparation, constantly treacherous conditions and the triumphant moments boys are carried to freedom.
We see the beginning of the three-day recovery mission which would miraculously free all 12 members of the Wild Boar football team and their coach, divers prepping and cleaning their gear before entering murky waters, holding a rope to guide them with torches their only light and the forbidding rockface millimetres above their heads.
There are the workers in hardhats preparing the gloomy way out and then a moment to lift spirits: a boy wrapped up on a cylindrical green stretcher, face just visible, being pulled through a narrow crevice, nearly there.
Still images in the video show a boy on a stretcher being winched to safety and another shows a stretcher being carried and surrounded by rescuers. It's not clear how many different boys we are watching but the effect is powerful nonetheless.
We see shots from above reminding us just how many people were involved in the gruelling task, a whiteboard peppered with logistics and planning, the system of ropes and pulleys that helped guide them on the arduous mission, medics in action.
Every frame shows the danger involved. Water flows around the ankles of the rescuers as they make their way down craggy steps to the mouth of the cave and then up a steep incline to end the boys' ordeal.
The footage has no sound but the moments each boy was freed have been described as euphoric and electric.
One of the divers had previously revealed the claustrophobic reality of the task.
"[There] was a small hole less than a metre. So you're climbing down through the hole to get into the water."
Diving through and on into chamber three was "like diving in sumps, like the S-bend on your toilet. That's what it's like", the diver said.
"There's a big section after the first dives where it's more of a tunnel formed, rocks fallen on other rocks."
After days of speculation about how the boys, many of whom could not swim, navigated the escape route, a former Thai Navy SEAL diver broke the silence, revealing the boys were sedated and sleeping or partially-conscious as they were passed from diver-to-diver through the cave.
"Some of them were asleep, some of them were wiggling their fingers... (as if) groggy but they were breathing," Commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong told AFP.
The boys were monitored by doctors at regular intervals along the passageways.
with James Massola
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