"We're very glad we could get you out alive".
Though the group are healthy and in good spirits, they remain in an isolation ward waiting for the medical all-clear after more than two weeks stuck deep underground in an environment where they could have been exposed to nasty diseases.
"Basically I flew from Bangkok to Chiang Mai the next morning, went straight to the staging area at the cave and joined in with the Thai Navy Seals", he said.
"I hope he will come back to work and resume his normal life". "In our country, you have so many friends".
Having lived in Thailand for the past 15 years as a diver for offshore oil and gas construction, ex-Aucklander Ross Schnauer played a role in the final stage of the operation, retrieving the last four boys along with their coach.
The new video from the navy does not include footage of the divers in the water with the boys, but it does show a team of people using pulleys, string and rubber tubes to haul a green, kayak-shaped stretcher out of a tight crevice.
He spoke of the "relief" he felt at seeing the boys, members of a football team called the Wild Boars, rescued after their 18-day ordeal in Thailand's Tham Luang Nang Non caves.
Two days after 12 boys and their soccer coach disappeared inside a cave complex in Thailand's mountainous north, a team of Thai Royal Navy SEALs headed before sunrise into the pitch-black maze of muddy passages to find them.
Their plight and the massive, risky three-day-long operation to free them gripped the world's attention.
"You are very strong", Volanthen told the group.
Co-founder Michael Scott told Reuters news agency that producers from the company were already on the ground interviewing rescue workers.
"We are not heroes".
Thai officials said they plan to create an interactive museum that will feature items such as the clothing worn by rescuers. "The results speak for themselves", he added.
A British diver who led efforts to rescue a trapped boys soccer team in Thailand returned to the United Kingdom on Thursday.
Mr Volanthen said: "It's not like that".
"But I think at that point we realised the enormity of the situation and that's perhaps why it took a while to get them all out".
About 40 percent of the boys' journey through the water of at least three hours involved diving and in other parts water was up to the rescuers' chests, Thai Navy SEAL commander Rear Admiral Apakorn Yuukongkaew, told reporters on Wednesday. He cautioned anyone thinking of approaching the story to do it "right and respectfully".
"Very good. The best - not good - the very best".
But he had denied they were knocked out for an operation the chief of the rescue had dubbed "mission impossible".