One of the biggest dangers the boys faced was panic. None of them could swim, none of them had dived, and now they had to trust men they hardly knew to guide them through flowing dark water, in tight spaces over jagged rocks.
Being coached in meditation by their coach Ekkapol Ake Chantawong who was a former monk, had gone a long way to keeping the boys calm. But for their dangerous journey they needed something more and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha confirmed they had been given a sedative. Media attention has now turned to speculation about how deeply the boys were dosed, with some suggesting that they could have been entirely unconcious for the rescue.
“Who would chloroform them? If they’re chloroformed, how could they come out?" Prayuth asked, and went on to clarify: "It’s called Anxiolytic, something to make them not excited, not stressed.”
Kids lost weight but ‘took care of themselves’ in Thai cave
The soccer teammates rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand lost weight during their 18-day ordeal but had water while they were trapped and are in good health, a health official said Wednesday.
The 12 boys and coach rescued over the three previous days “took care of themselves well in the cave,” Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, a public health inspector, said at a news conference at the hospital in Chiang Rai city where the group is recovering.
The four boys rescued Sunday can eat normal food and walk around, and the four pulled out on Monday were eating soft food. Thongchai said one member of the final group of four boys and the coach who arrived at the hospital Tuesday evening had a slight lung infection.
Two of the first group had a lung infection as well, and Thongchai said they would need medicine for seven days.
The average weight loss was 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds), Thongchai said. They were able to obtain water dripping inside the cave.
The boys were in isolation in the hospital to prevent infections by outsiders. But family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass barrier, and after a period of time with no problems, the family members would be allowed closer while dressed in sterilised clothing.
Health officials have also previously said the boys would get a mental health evaluation, to address any problems caused by their ordeal. Outside experts have said the group identity of the soccer teammates and their youth would aid their ability to recover.