THAILAND (CBSNewYork) — The young soccer players rescued from a cave in Thailand say they only intended to be inside for an hour.
That hour turned into more than two weeks. Now, the father of the youngest boy is sharing his son’s frightening ordeal.
“I felt relief, I was so happy,” Tanawut said through a translator.
And little Titan emerged, with big stories to tell.
He told his father the boys were forced to run deep into the cave they were exploring when fast-moving water started flowing in. He said the boys’ soccer coach, named Ake, tried to swim to find a way out for them, but the water was so fast and so deep, he turned back around.
Titan told his father the first three days in the cave were the hardest. The group was hungry and cold. The boys had trouble sleeping, and Titan cried, because he missed his mom and dad.
Coach Ake hugged and encouraged him to be strong, Tanawut said.
When asked how he felt about what the coach did for his son, Tanawut said, “I am touched. If the kids didn’t have Coach Ake, I don’t know how they could have survived.”
Back in London Friday morning, British divers involved in the rescue, said nothing like this has ever been done before.
“There was a lot of chaos, but we were so task-oriented and focused that we sort of blanked that out and carried on with the job at hand, step by step,” said diver Rick Stanton.
And Tanawut said for that, he is thankful.
He said us Titan is doing well. He said the first thing his son asked when he got out of the cave was where was his coach was and how he was doing.
Thai health officials say all the kids are in good mental and physical health.
FIFA’s president invited the boys to attend the World Cup Final in Moscow on Sunday, but the boys aren’t strong enough to attend.
FIFA says the boys will be honored at another soccer event in the future.