They have been dubbed the "ATeam" of world divers as they had to dive through underwater passages with little visibility in the murky water.
In order to rescue the boys, divers had to contend with a treacherous escape route made up of narrow, water-filled tunnels, with the threat of heavy rain injecting urgency to the bid.
The Wild Boars football team which were stuck in Tham Luang Nang Non cave for 18 days after monsoon floods.
They were taken by helicopter to a hospital about 70 km (45 miles) away to join their team mates in quarantine for the time being.
But one man has emerged as a pivotal figure in the most unlikely of rescues - Australian diver and anaesthetist Richard "Harry" Harris. "We were extremely fortunate that the outcome was the way it was".
Volanthen and his diving partner, Rick Stanton, discovered the boys on July 2, 10 days after they went missing in Tham Luang cave. "Many, many people. We are the first". Medical experts consider 12 percent a critically low level.
Thirteen foreign divers and five Thai navy SEALs guided the players and their coach out of the complex.
Brown was impressed by the rigour of the planning by the Thai military.
She added: "I'd like to thank everybody for all their teamwork to get the lads out, it is absolutely lovely". "Be good people, be a force for good for your country", Rear Admiral Apakorn Yuukongkaew, commander of Thailand's navy SEALS unit, said in a message to them before boarding a flight from Chiang Rai. He was the only casualty of the operation.
But he said: "The most important thing to have was a full face mask which had been applied inside with positive pressure to enable them to breathe and to be relaxed enough so not to feel any anxiety during the process".
Shortly after the last four boys and the 25-year-old coach were brought out Tuesday late afternoon, the water pumps failed in an area between two chambers, filling them with water as 20 rescuers remained inside.
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Parents wait to hug sons as details of risky Thai rescue emerge
There were several options as to how to save the boys, including keeping them in the cave until the monsoon season was over . And the confidence of the diving team, and expertise specific to the cave, grew after its first successful mission Sunday.
"This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong", French midfielder Paul Pogba tweeted after his team beat Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday to reach the final. In another video, released by the government of Thailand on Wednesday, the boys seem energetic and healthy.
Then the problem became how to get them back out through the tunnels, some completely full of fast-flowing flood water.
"I think it is a miracle".
"Some of them were asleep, and some of them were wiggling their fingers, kind of groggy, but they were breathing".
Officials have confirmed the boys were sedated to combat the risk of panic inside the cave.
"We brought the children out like eggs protected in stone", Apakorn said, referencing a Thai saying equivalent to "velvet glove".
"If it's not broke, don't change it", Brown said.
"It was dark so we all had head lamps, and there was one spotlight".
The rescue has dominated front-page headlines in Thailand and beyond for days.
"I was exhausted", he said.