Thailand's cave boys crave sushi, crispy pork as they recover in hospital



All the 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand are recovering well from their ordeal and eagerly awaiting a chance to enjoy their favorite delicacies.

In a new video released by Thai authorities, the boys appeared relaxed in their hospital beds. They began their brief statements thanking their rescuers with a “wai,” the traditional Thai greeting.

“I am in good health now,” said one of the boys, a 14-year-old nicknamed Note. “Thanks for saving me.”

Rescue workers extracted the last group of the “Wild Boars” soccer team and their coach from the Tham Luang cave on Tuesday night, ensuring a happy ending to a 17-day ordeal that had gripped the world.

Asked by an off-camera interviewer what they were looking forward to eating, the boys listed delicacies ranging from slow-cooked pork leg with steamed rice to sushi.

“I want to have crispy pork rice and barbecue pork rice,” 15-year-old Pipat Photi said in the video.

“I want pork knuckle rice,” said 13-year-old Duangpetch Promtep. “Thank you for all the moral support.”

Others said they were craving sushi and steaks.

The boys, who on average had shed 2 kilograms (4 pounds), had regained some of the weight and their appetite, health minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said on Saturday.

Read more: The Thai cave rescue and our longing for clarity

Mental stress concerns

Piyasakol told reporters the health of all 13 had improved.

“All of the 13 people, their physical bodies are strong, and fit. Regarding infections, through the medical evaluations in the first days there may be some of them that had minor pneumonia, but now all is cleared, no fever,” Piyasakol said, adding that all will be discharged on Thursday.

But Piyasakol flagged concerns about the mental stress that the boys were likely to be subjected to once they leave hospital.

“Psychologists have been talking to the kids, with the kids, their mental well-being is good today,” he said. “Even though they are about to leave in the days ahead … they aren’t as strong as a normal person, they still need to rest and improve their health, and body.”

He warned relatives of the boys to resist giving interviews to media over fears they could have a negative impact on their mental health.

The 12 boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their coach became trapped on June 23 when they were cut off by floodwaters while exploring the cave. They were found by a pair of British divers more than a week later. A high-risk international mission ensued and the group was eventually rescued.

Read more: Child psychologist warns media hype is harmful to kids 

Royal honor for fallen SEAL

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Saturday issued a royal decree promoting and honoring former Thai navy SEAL Saman Kunan, who died last week during the rescue mission.

The king’s order promoted Saman to lieutenant commander.

The 37-year-old died on July 6 while placing oxygen tanks in the cave in preparation for the rescue.

Saman was the only fatality in the dramatic operation.

ap/kl (Reuters, AP, dpa, AFP)

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