He also paid tribute to Thai navy diver Saman Kunan, who died while replenishing oxygen canisters, saying his death brought a "bittersweet" taste to an otherwise successful operation. They will stay in hospital at least a week.
The team became captured within a cave in Thailand on June 23 and survived for 18 long days before being miraculously rescued by a fearless group of global divers. That won't happen or we'll give them hell.
"He's got a very bouncy Australian accent, and they seemed to find that quite relaxing and reassuring".
"Craig and I have had a spotlight on our efforts and we want to make everyone realise that while we might have become the face of this rescue for some reason, everyone should know that the role we played was no more or less important than all the many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people I have mentioned", he said. "They thought they'd only be an hour", Banpot Korncam, father of the 13-year-old captain of the "Wild Boars" team, told media.
Rescuers pulled off the miraculous life-saving mission despite daunting odds over the course of three dramatic days, successfully completing the operation on Tuesday when the last four boys and their coach were removed from the cave. "And so there was relief tempered with uncertainty". During the brief press conference at Heathrow, Mr Stanton declined to answer any medical questions but said: "They were carefully handled".
He said by the time he and Dr Challen arrived at the Chang Rai site in northern Thailand, local and British divers had laid down robust ropes to ensure safe access to the stranded boys of the Wild Boars team.
"It was a successful outcome and we played a part in an global effort".
Mr Jewell said it was very hard to judge how close it came to being a very different outcome. There is a lot of responsibility that an experienced diver could handle'.
Fellow diver Chris Jewell provided new details of the operation, describing how Thai authorities had diverted rivers on the mountaintop to help control water levels in the cave.
Mr Stanton was asked how he felt when he first saw the boys alive in the Luang Nang Non Cave.
As well as Mr Stanton, fellow divers Chris Jewell and Connor Roe, both from Somerset; Josh Bratchley, from Devon; Jim Warny, from Co Clare, Ireland; Mike Clayton, from Yorkshire; and Gary Mitchell, from Wales, returned to the United Kingdom on Friday. "I'd already counted them, they were already there".