Volanthen praised the entire worldwide rescue team, which included 90 of the best scuba divers from around the world, for saving the group, who became trapped when monsoon rains struck on June 23 and flooded their exit.
The Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex in Thailand - where 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped for 18 days - will become a "living museum" to showcase the harrowing ordeal that unfolded in recent weeks as the world watched.
"By the time the last diver was out the water was already at head level, nearly to the point where he needed an oxygen tank".
The group had entered the sprawling Tham Luang cave to go exploring after soccer practice on June 23, but monsoon rains filled the tight passageways, blocking their escape, and pushing them deeper inside in search of a refuge. Images from the successful, yet dramatic, rescue effort showed the boys lying in covered gurneys as they were being transported to the hospital.
"I've seen rescues in the past but this one seemed so complex and so hard and so harrowing", he told reporters in Adelaide.More news: China Trade Talks Come to Halt
"Dr Harry, the Australian doctor, he's very good, he's got a very good bedside manner", said Mr Volanthen.
Saman's death, the only casualty in the operation, was widely mourned.
The world held its breath over the three days it took to retrieve the Wild Boars.
The exact mechanics of the rescue bid were closely guarded during the operation, but details have since dribbled out. And it would take more than two weeks before the whole group were rescued by a team of more than 100 global experts, including South Australian doctor Richard Harris.
Rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters on Wednesday that the entire operation would not have been possible without the unique skills that Harris brought to the mission, though he did not elaborate.More news: Blast At Chemical Site Near Cairo Airport Injures 12: Army
"We had to set up rope systems and high-lines to be able to safely put them in a harness and bring them across large open areas so they wouldn't have to go all the way down", Anderson said.
"The favourable outcome that has been achieved is nearly beyond our imagination when we first became involved", they said.
They were discovered on June 3 and rescued after a three-day operation involving experts from several countries, including the Thai Navy Seal, the United States Indo-Pacific Command and British cave diving experts.
In a tweet Thursday, a translator based in Bangkok said engineers from SpaceX, Mr Musk's rocket company, trained members of the Thai navy to use the mini-submarine.
"There was a lot of chaos but we were so task-orientated, focused and we blanked that out and carried on with the job in hand, step by step, until we achieved success".More news: Frozen vegetables recalled from Aussie supermarkets over contamination fears