The head of the Thai Navy Seals has said "hope became reality" with the successful rescue of 12 boys and their coach from the Tham Luang cave, BBC reports.
"We had a little bit of hope that they might still be alive but we had to do it, we just had to move forward," Rear Adm Arpakorn Yuukongkaew told the BBC.
"There was only a tiny bit of hope, but that's all we had to work with."
The group was trapped in the cave by rising water and rescued in a dramatic operation that captivated the world.
The complex, three-day rescue saw four boys emerge on Sunday, four on Monday, and the final four boys plus their coach on Tuesday.
They survived underground by drinking water dripping down the cave walls, officials said on Wednesday.
All 13 are now in hospital in Chiang Rai city and receiving medical and psychological assistance, but recovering well, they said.