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The Australian doctor who played a vital role in saving 12 soccer players trapped in a Thai cave system made a surprising first phone call when the rescue mission came to a triumphant end.
Anaesthetist Dr Richard Harris, who was summoned for the treacherous operation thanks to his medical expertise and cave diving experience, wasn't calling friends or loved ones as the children's coach was the last to be pulled to safety on Tuesday.
Dr - Harris - Prime - Minister - Malcolm
Dr Harris phoned Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who had asked to be the first to know he was safe following the daring rescue mission, Seven News reported.
The 53-year-old from Adelaide is also being hailed for an ingenious medical idea that helped the trapped boys stay calm during the gruelling 1.7km swim to the surface.
Deep - Cave - System - Dr - Harris
Deep inside the cave system, Dr Harris administered a mild sedative to the boys, ensuring the inexperienced swimmers didn't panic in the water, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The astonishing story has gripped Thailand and the world since the group was discovered trapped alive by two British cave divers on July 2, nine days after disappearing while exploring the Tham Luang cave system.
Australia - Role - Operation - Personnel - Divers
Australia played a vital role in the operation, sending 19 personnel including six military divers and Dr Harris, who on Saturday assessed the boys' health and cleared the way for the dangerous operation to go ahead.
When Dr Harris joined the Thai rescue crew at the Tham Luang cave system, he convinced officials to change their plans and bring the weakest boys out first, instead of the strongest.
Strategy - Boys - Chance - Safety - Others
The initial strategy was to extract the strongest boys first because they would have more chance of making it to safety while the others could stay back and build up strength.
But that was revised after Dr Harris' health assessment found some of...
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