Cave rescue: The Australian diving doctor who stayed with the boys

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The 18-day ordeal riveted much of the world - from the very bad news that the 13 were missing, to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys when they were found by a pair of British divers almost 10 days later.

The rescue mission was indeed a highly unsafe one as a retired Thai Navy SEAL diver died last Friday (July 6) when he ran out of oxygen in the flooded cave.

John Volanthen was the first voice the boys heard after nine days trapped in the underground network in Chiang Rai province. They were able to check a watch for the time for the first three days.

Around five minutes into this video, the boy shown on screen has his eyes closed but appears conscious, bringing his right hand to his torso as people gather around him.

The group had entered the sprawling Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand to go exploring after soccer practice on June 23 when monsoon rains filled the tight passageways, blocking their escape. That's good news for the boys who had said they were looking forward to fried rice with basil.

Dr Harris decided the order in which the boys could leave the cave, after conducting health assessments determining who needed to leave most urgently.

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The rescue sparked jubilation with Thais heaping praise on the rescue team of foreign and local divers as the triumphant tagline "Hooyah" pinballed across social media.

The 38-year-old filmmaker and Ivanhoe Pictures are working with Thai Navy SEALs and Thailand's government to develop the film and tell the dramatic rescue of the youth soccer team. Chu is teaming up with global production company Ivanhoe Pictures (Ghoul) to bring the sensational rescue story. Their predicament and successful rescue gripped the world with rescuers from the Thailand, Britain, Australia, US, and other countries coming together to get the boys and their coach out safely.

"The water and scuba diving scenes would be expensive", said Judi Farkas, the literary agent who represented author Antonio Mendez on the film rights sale of his book "Argo" for the Oscar-winning movie. He said his wife grew up with Samarn Poonan, the former Thai navy SEAL who died during the mission.

With the crucial acquisition of Chu - known as the director of Now You See Me 2, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and the Step Up sequels - Ivanhoe's version of the Thai cave rescue story will likely manifest as the more prominent picture amongst what could become an array of adaptations.

"[He] is an extraordinary Australian and he has certainly made a big difference to the rescue effort here in Thailand", she said. "When day one went well, we said - we are going to do the exact same thing on day two".

Without him "this mission may not have succeeded", the Thai rescue chief, Narongsak Osottanakorn, told reporters late Wednesday.

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