He confirmed the boys were sedated to keep them calm. Despite the physical progress, doctors warned the group still faces a psychological test to ensure their well-being.
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.
The last of the 12-member "Wild Boars" soccer team and their coach were brought out of the Tham Luang cave, near the border with Myanmar, on Tuesday night, safely ending a perilous rescue and evoking global relief and joy.
He was joined by retired Perth vet Dr Craig Challen, who is also part of the prestigious dive group called the Wet Mules, and the pair thanked people for the messages of support in their first public statement yesterday.
"The favourable outcome that has been achieved is nearly beyond our imagination when we first became involved".
Speaking to reporters on home soil on Saturday, Dr Harris described the joy of the remarkable rescue mixed with the "bittersweet" feelings of the passing of his father.
"The big heroes in this are the children and the Thai Navy SEALs who were looking after them", he said. "Then when we departed, all we could think about was how we would get them out".
Doctors say the boys will be released from the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital on Thursday after donning surgical masks to ward off infection.
The Australian diver said at first his team was given the job of helping with supplies before joining others to pass the boys through tight, watery crevices in the caves.
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The intricate, high-risk operation which rescued the boys involved 19 divers, a medic and three Thai Navy SEALs who have stayed with the boys on a small, dry shelf deep in the flooded cave. Finally to the thousands of well-wishers from Thailand and around the world; we promise we have read every message! "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 wish them a speedy recovery".
They echoed Dr Harris's praise for the children during a press conference on Wednesday.
There were 20 Australians involved in the Thai-led rescue effort.
"We could not have panicking kids in there, they would have killed themselves and possibly killed the rescuer as well". "That's where the credit lies".
Dr Harris and Mr Challen touched down with twenty Australians involved in the risky Tham Luang cave rescue.
The teenagers also asked if they could be sent some KFC.
The complex recovery, which saw Dr Harris navigate eight kilometres of winding underwater passages, put his name on the radar and propelled him to worldwide renown.
"The video you see is again a part of the story what you can't see on the opposite bank is we'd already removed a lot of our equipment we were preparing to go and find them, we could see where they were and we were very pleased trying to establish how many of them were alright and as it turned out all of them were". "Thank you so much". "Thank you, Richard and thank you, Australia".