"Initially we weren't certain they were all alive as they were coming down I was counting them until I got to 13", he said after his arrival at London's Heathrow airport.
"We could not have panicking kids in there, they would have killed themselves and possibly killed the rescuer as well".
After they didn't return from their hike, Thai officials launched an extensive search-and-rescue operation involving well over 1,000 people, including specialists drafted from various nations such as Australia, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Major Rubin also gave a first-hand account of the experience working with Dr Harris.
All 13 were brought to safety in a perilous rescue organised by Thai navy SEALs and an global team of cave-diving experts.
"This is clearly a time of grief for the Harris family, magnified by the physical and emotional demands of being part of this week's highly complex and ultimately successful rescue operation", Dr Pearce said.
The unprecedented rescue involved scores of Thai and foreign expert cave divers, many of whom have expressed delight and surprise at the success of the mission.
He said in the video that he is getting better, and he thanked people for helping him. "I love you like you're my very heart... from now on when I wake up ... who will I kiss?"
"There was an unbelievable bunch of people to work with during the rescue from both Australia and overseas", he said on Saturday.
Thailand Cave Kids To Go Home Next Week, Boys To Be Discharged From Hospital Then
Saman, then-Petty Officer First Class, collapsed and died on July 6 during the operation to help rescue the 12 Mu Pa Academy football team members and their football coach from the cave where they had been trapped since June 23.
The boys are understood to have entered the cave as a part of a team ritual, where younger boys would carve their names on to the wall.
Dr Harris described the operation as a "pretty unbelievable experience".
One of the boys, 14-year-old Adul Samon, even sent his message in English, saying, "Hello, I am Adul".
Health officials deemed the boys and their coach mentally and physically fit to receive the news of Kunan's death on Saturday.
"The world is watching", said Kham-oey Promthep, 64, grandmother of 13-year-old Duangpetch "Dom" Promthep, captain of the Wild Boars soccer team.
They were found nine days later, and the complex rescue took several days to plan and more than 100 volunteers to complete. One Thai Navy SEAL died trying to save the group.
Australian Medical Association (AMA) President Dr Tony Bartone said Dr Harris put his own safety on the line to help others and should be commended.
"We were very relieved that they were all alive 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".
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