With V-for-Vic­tory, res­cued Thai boys cel­e­brate free­dom

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - NATION+WORLD -

MAE SAI, THAILAND » As ec­static rel­a­tives watched and waved from be­hind a glass bar­rier, the 12 boys and their soc­cer coach res­cued from deep within a flooded cave in Thailand made the V-for-Vic­tory sign Wednes­day from their beds in a hos­pi­tal iso­la­tion ward where they are re­cov­er­ing from the 18-day or­deal.

An Amer­i­can in­volved in the op­er­a­tion de­scribed the per­ilous ze­ro­vis­i­bil­ity dives that brought the boys out safely as a “once in a life­time res­cue.”

Derek An­der­son, a 32-year-old res­cue spe­cial­ist with the U.S. Air Force based in Ok­i­nawa, Ja­pan, said that at times dur­ing the risky res­cue, the boys had to be put into har­nesses and high-lined across the rocky cav­erns. At other times, they en­dured dives last­ing up to half an hour in the pitch-black waters.

“The world just needs to know that what was ac­com­plished was a once in a life­time res­cue,” An­der­son told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

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