Boys, coach in stable health after 10 days lost in Thai cave

04 July, 2018, 01:31 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Thailand cave rescue efforts pick up pace as flooding eases

Rescuers are going to take the 12 boys and their coach who have been trapped in northern Thailand's cave for more than 10 days to a safer place within the cave on Tuesday (July 3) midnight, said one of the rescuers on Tuesday.

Rescuers said they believed the boys could stay alive by drinking fresh water in the cave, either dripping in through rocks or rushing in through the entrance.

"Not today. Not today", the divers told them. Conditions inside the cave are treacherous, with rushing water and debris degrading visibility and making the cave system's sharp turns even more challenging.

While the aim is to take the boys out of the cave, that depends on the ability of the rescuers to pump water out of the cave and also the health of the children and coach.

The Prime Minister's Office says Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha "wishes to thank the tremendous efforts of all worldwide units that have come to assist the Thai authorities in rescuing the youth football team that was stuck in the caves in Chiang Rai".

In this grab taken from video provided by the Thai Navy Seal, a view of the boys and their soccer coach as they are rescued in a cave, in Chiang Rai in Thailand, Monday.

When the group, whose voices are indistinct, ask what day it is, the divers pause, then one replies, "Monday, Monday". "In these 10 days, how many million seconds have there been? They have not yet reached 'the (Pattaya) beach, '" Narongsak said.

Family members who have kept vigil at the mouth of the cave since their ordeal began June 23 rejoiced at the news that their boys and their coach had been found.

The Associated Press reports Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said that while they have been found, they are not out of danger yet.

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BBC South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head, who is at the scene, said the Thai military had a few doctors with the diving skills required to reach them. They were located near a chamber known as Pattaya Beach, which has a higher elevation.

"We worked so hard to find them and we will not lose them", he said.

Rescuers are now working to pull the weakened team from the cave safely.

Pumping out water hasn't solved the problem, so increasing efforts have been made to find shafts on the mountainside that might serve as a back door to the blocked-off areas where the missing may be sheltering.

"The specialty we have been able to deploy has been very useful to to the Thai authorities and has been very welcomed there". Thailand's rainy season typically lasts through October.

The worldwide rescue operation - which included the Thai Navy SEALs as well as experts from the US, China, Australia and the United Kingdom - had been working to reach a large, deep chamber, informally named Pattaya Beach, where they believed the missing boys had taken refuge. Many, many people. We're the first. Several fissures have been found and teams have explored some, though so far none have led to the trapped boys.

The Australian team had joined forces with 11 Chinese rescue experts, up to 32 USA forces personnel, three British divers and a British cave expert as well as rescue teams from Myanmar and Laos.

"They should be okay without food for eight days", said Dr Somsak Akkasilp, the director-general of the Medical Services Department.

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