"They also thanked him and promised to be good boys", the statement said.
But in a striking coda to an already astonishing tale, a former Thai Navy SEAL told AFP the boys were "sleeping" as they were passed from divers or on pulleys as they exited the cave in stretchers.
Rescued cave boys and their coach to be allowed to rest, says hospital official. Officials are specifically anxious about any possible mental duress suffered by the team's coach, 25-year-old Ekkapol "Ake" Chantawong, ABC News reported.
'All of the boys cried and were in tears when they found out.
The three-day, global rescue operation was successful, and the boys are being held in quarantine while they recover from minor injuries and regain their strength.
The 12 Thai boys who spent more than two weeks in a cave complex underground are recovering. The boys and their families have been instructed to avoid all media exposure for at least one month after they are discharged, out of fear it could trigger post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
Saman, 38, had retired from Thailand's navy SEALs and was working as an airport security officer when he volunteered for the rescue operation.
Trump plays golf in Scotland before Putin summit amid Russian meddling charges
Pompeo - formerly director of the Central Intelligence Agency - added that it's "very important" that Trump and Putin meet. Kremlin and White House officials maintain there's much to be gained on both sides from the summit.
Kunan was awarded the Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant medal and posthumously promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
The youngsters and their coach had been invited to the final of the 2018 World Cup by its organiser, Fifa, but had to decline on medical grounds.
They have been recovering in hospital since they were rescued over three days last week and will be discharged on Thursday. But a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels, trapping them.
Adul is perhaps the best known of the boys because he was the one speaking English in the video taken inside the cave when the team members were first found by two British cave divers on July 2, almost 10 days after being trapped by flooding.
Doctors say they are in good health following a successful three-day operation which ended July 10 when teams of Navy Seals and worldwide cave diving experts hauled the last five members of the team to safety.
In video messages of the boys shown at a news conference on Saturday, they are seen wearing surgical masks, a safeguard against infection that's been taken since the last of them were pulled from the Tham Luang cave on Tuesday, ending an 18-day ordeal.