A member of the heroic Thai Navy SEALs team that rescued 12 young boys and their soccer coach from a cave left the young men he saved with a call to action on Thursday, encouraging them to “be a force for good.”
“Make the most of your lives. Be good people. Be a force for good for your country,” Rear Admiral Apakorn Yuukongkaew, the commander of the unit, told the boys in a message Thursday as he boarded a flight from Chiang Rai to Sattahip Naval Base, according to Reuters.
The cave rescue in the Doi Nang Non mountain region required the divers to give the boys anti-anxiety medication for the rescue out since some couldn’t swim, and were carried under water by the SEAL divers. The rescues occurred between Sunday and Tuesday, and unfortunately claimed the life of one volunteer. The boys were then carried on stretchers as they left the cave’s entrance, according to CBS News.
The boys appear to be in relatively good health, reported a public heath inspector that spoke at a press conference at the hospital where the boys are recovering in Chiang Rai city, according to The Associated Press — despite that two boys have lung infections and three boys have ear infections, reported Reuters. (RELATED: Report: All Boys And Coach Freed From Thai Cave)
Doctors are running multiple tests on the boys to rule out any possible diseases contracted during their time spent in the cave. They have been quarantined from friends and family, The Associated Press reported. They are checking for viruses ranging from rabies to Nipah, which can cause pneumonia, seizures and death.
Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, an infectious diseases expert at Columbia University, said the team of doctors should test for tetanus bacteria, diarrhea-causing bacteria, and inhalable fungal spores that could cause pneumonia, according to The Associated Press.
The heroic SEALs were welcomed and greeted by fellow officers and citizens when they landed Thursday at the U-Tapao International Airport, reported Reuters.
“All Thais are proud of you … You have made a name for the SEALs unit,” a senior navy official announced to the crowd gathered in celebration, according to Reuters.
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