MAE SAI, THAILAND—The soccer teammates rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand lost weight during their 18-day ordeal and in the days before their discovery survived by drinking water dripping into their refuge, a health official said Wednesday.
The 12 boys and coach rescued over the three previous days “took care of themselves well in the cave,” Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, a public health inspector, said at a news conference at the hospital in Chiang Rai city where the group is recovering.
The four boys rescued Sunday can eat normal food and walk around, and the four pulled out Monday were eating soft food. Thongchai said one member of the final group of four boys and the coach who arrived at the hospital Tuesday evening had a slight lung infection.
Two of the first group had a lung infection as well, and Thongchai said they would need medicine for seven days.
The average weight loss was 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) for those with known information, Thongchai said. They were able to obtain water dripping inside the cave.
“To not receive food, we can still survive for many months but what’s necessary is water, which the cave has, and around this time there’s a lot in the cave, and they chose clean water to drink,” he said.