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