Rescued soccer player
Rescued soccer player "Titan" Chanin Vibulrungruang reacts after paying respect to a portrait of Saman Gunan, the Thai Navy SEAL diver who died in the rescue attempt, during a press conference discussing their ordeal in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand. Vincent Thian/AP

Thai cave boys show off in Bangkok

THE 12 Thai cave boys and their soccer coach have re-enacted their harrowing ordeal at an exhibition in Bangkok

Large crowds watched the boys crawl through a 10-metre replica tunnel at one of the city's largest shopping centres.

The team seemed in high spirits as they crept through the fake cave in the Siam Paragon mall, where they also took the time to thank rescuers and the Thai King.

Psychologists had counselled that the boys after their rescue in July should be given a six-month respite from being pressed to recount their experience.

But Thailand's military government, eager to share the glory of the good-news story, has trotted them out for public appearances and interviews.

As well as the murky brown tunnel, the exhibition features dive suits, the simulated sound of dripping water and even underwater robots.

Speaking on behalf of the "Wild Boars" soccer team, Adul Sam-on said he and his team would concentrate on their studies so they could repay rescuers efforts once they're grown up.

"We promise to do the best of our ability," Adul said, according to the Bangkok Post.

"We would like to thank everyone who devoted their efforts for us and our families. We will never forget."

The 12 school football players and their coach were trapped in the northern Chiang Rai province for more than two weeks after entering the cave at the end of June.

They survived for nine days on water dripping from rocks before they were found by divers.

Their story captured the world's attention as they eventually escaped one by one with the help of a heroic team made up of diving experts and Thai navy SEALs.

Their plight inspired Tham Luang's Incredible Mission: The Global Agenda, the exhibition which documents the rescue operation.

It comes as thousands of Thais feast in the capital to celebrate the rescue that gripped the world.

The boys were guests of honour at a government-sponsored dinner to thank those involved in the rescue at Bangkok's Royal Plaza, a large public square in the heart of city's old quarter.

Partly sponsored by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the dinner will cater for 10,000 guests, including foreign divers and cavers, according to the prime minister's office.

Also in attendance was Brit diver Verne Unsworth who played a key role in saving the lads lives.

The hero hit headlines again recently after Tesla CEO Elon Musk attacked the diver for the second time, alleging that he was a "child rapist".





This in an edited version of a story that originally appeared on The Sun. It is republished with permission.