Thai “Wild Boars” football team members (Source: Reuters)

Bangkok (VNA) – All members of the Thai “Wild Boars” football team and their coach were released from hospital on July 18 and made their first public appearance at a nationally-broadcast news conference later the same day in the northern province of Chiang Rai.

The junior football team, comprising 12 boys aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach, became famous worldwide following the spectacular rescue of them from Tham Luang Cave, where they were trapped inside for more than two weeks due to flooding. 

The Reuters news agency reported that all the boys and their coach smiled, joked and showed solidarity with one another, as they shared details of their traumatic experience inside the flooded Tham Luang cave complex.

Thai Government spokesman Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd said doctors and psychologists were participating in the 45-minute news conference to filter questions and ensure the boys' well-being. Officials reviewed questions in advance to make certain none might cause damaging psychological effects.

Doctors said the 13 were healthy in body and mind, with good blood testing results. They said the boys gained around 3 kilograms on average since they were rescued from the cave. They were said to have lost an average of 4 kilograms during the time they were trapped in the cave.

Earlier, doctors recommended that the boys should avoid meeting with reporters in at least one month after returning to their normal life.

The group entered the Tham Luang cave on June 23 but was trapped inside by flooding. A rescue campaign was launched for them with the participation of 90 divers, including 50 foreigners. Divers found them 10 days later and rescuers eventually took them out over three days, concluding July 10. However, a former Thai navy SEAL, Saman Kunan, died on July 6 while replenishing air tanks inside the cave.

The boys were scheduled to return home on July 18’s night.-VNA