CHIANG RAI, Thailand — The 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from a cave in northern Thailand described the moment they realized they finally had been found, as they appeared at a news conference Wednesday after leaving the hospital where they had been recuperating.

“We were digging stones on top of the hill and we heard voices,” said 14-year-old Adul Samon. He said the coach told everyone to be quiet.

“We weren’t sure if it was for real,” Adul said. “So we stopped and listened. And it turned out to be true. I was shocked.”

Adul said he then snatched a flashlight from another team member and rushed down to meet the two British divers who found them nearly 10 days after they became trapped in the flooded cave.

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Twelves boys and their football coach Ekkapol Chantawong (L), rescued from deep inside a Thai cave after being trapped, wave as they arrive for a press conference in Chiang Rai on July 18, 2018, following their discharge from the hospital.
LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images

The group, looking healthy, entered the news conference to applause from reporters and classmates and put on a quick demonstration of their ball-handling skills on a miniature soccer field set up in the hall where they met journalists from around the world.

They then hugged their friends before taking seats up front with doctors and members of the Thai navy SEAL unit that helped bring them out, along with others who helped them during their ordeal, which ended after more than two weeks when they were brought out of the cave last week.