Thailand promises citizenship to three rescued boys and coach

Acting governor of Chiang Rai Narongsak Osatanakorn led the operation

"Under Thai law, stateless persons are still able to obtain some basic rights such as the right to education and access to health service. We feel so in debt of gratitude for his help this time". What we do is very calculating, very calm.

Health officials said the boys would spend at least a week in hospital and around 30 days recovering at home following more than two weeks trapped inside the flooded Tham Luang cave complex.

The rescue sparked jubilation with Thais heaping praise on the rescue team of foreign and local divers as the triumphant tagline "Hooyah" pinballed across social media.

As the days ticked by, Komolvadhin described an intense scene at the mouth of the cave where everyone was "anxiously waiting" for updates.

"Pure Flix joins the rest of the world in thanking God for answering prayers for the successful rescue of those trapped in the cave in Thailand", the company said in a statement. They were found after 9 days by a pair of British divers.

But he denied they were knocked out for the miraculous rescue.

He said: "I believe they will grow up to be great citizens of Thailand", appearing to imply that the boys and their coach would receive citizenship. "But finally from that moment, the whole world saw their face, saw their emotion - their high spirit".

"My job was to transfer them along", he said, adding the "boys were wrapped up in stretchers already when they were being transferred".

After learning that all of them were alive, the rescue teams started weighing their options.

The players Pornchai Kamluang, Adul Sam-on and Mongkhol Boonpiam, plus their coach, Ekaphol Chantawong, whose families come from northern Thailand's porous and largely lawless border regions abutting Myanmar's Shan State, are technically stateless and not considered citizens under Thai law, leaving them without numerous rights their teammates enjoy.

Rescuers had weighed up several options to save the boys, including keeping them in the cave through the months-long monsoon season.

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. That was the moment that seemed to unite the politically fractured Thailand, Komolvadhin said.

"We're here really looking at this as a movie that could inspire millions of people across the globe", Scott said.

"He's a miracle boy", she told us. "That's [why] they really [had] to speed up the rescue operation and that's how we got more worldwide experts coming and [joining] hands in this operation".

The water pumps failed, and Commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong heard shouts of alarm as the final stage of an unprecedented operation to rescue 12 Thai boys and their coach from a flooded cave nearly tipped into disaster. "They have to help each other".

The group will remain hospitalized for up to a week to ensure they are properly treated for all their health conditions.

On Wednesday video showed the boys recuperating in an isolation ward in hospital, chatting to each other and making two-finger victory signs while their parents waved to them through a glass window.