Friday, 16 November, 2018

Four boys rescued from Thailand cave; eight delayed 10-20 hours

Former navy diver dies during Thailand cave rescue effort Thailand cave rescue: Boys tell parents 'don't worry' in letters
Jay Anderson | 09 July, 2018, 03:44

However, there has been no official word on this so far.

The soccer team's ordeal has drawn huge media attention in Thailand and overseas, as monsoon conditions worsened amid a frantic search to find the trapped youngsters.

The co-ordinator of the rescue efforts said rescuers were still in a "war with water and time" and conditions in the following three or four days would be most ideal for the rescue.

Boys from the under-16 soccer team trapped inside Tham Luang cave receive treatment from a medic in Chiang Rai, Thailand, in this still image taken from a July 3, 2018 video by Thai Navy Seal.

The plan was attacked as too risky, but courageous rescuers forged ahead to save the first four of 12 boys trapped in a Thai cave as torrential rains hit the region.

Thai Navy soldiers in the flooded Tham Luang cave during rescue operations for the 12 boys and their football team coach.

Divers have previously described conditions in the cave network as some of the most extreme they have ever faced.

The rescue teams had rehearsed the plan for several days, Narongsak said, and had managed to drain the cave water level considerably, but needed to move fast.




The boys aged 11 to 16 are members of the Mu Pa Academy Mae Sai football club and have been trapped inside the Tham Luang cave with their coach, Ekapol Chantawong, 25, since June 23.

While the governor would not confirm the identities of the four boys, he said the first one emerged at 5:40pm local time, followed by the second boy 10 minutes later.

"This is probably some of the most hard diving there is" in the rescue operation, she said, "and this is the rainy season" with constant fears of more flooding and perilous currents. They posted that "the 4th Wild Boar is out of the cave" and was rescued at 7:47 p.m. local time.

Thirteen medical teams - each with its own ambulance and helicopter - await the boys and their coach, according to Reuters. The next phase of the operation is expected to start in 10-20 hours. Namhom Boonpiam, the mother of Mongkhol, said she had not been told whether her son had been rescued and taken to hospital and only learned he may have been freed from reports on social media. The pause will give divers time to prepare gear, including masks and refilling air tanks, for the next round of rescue efforts.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that the U.S. government is working closely with Thai officials to get the children to safety.

It is not yet known whether the boys swum out, or if they were sedated and delivered by the rescuers.

The boys, accompanied by two divers each, will be brought out one-by-one. "We want to evacuate all 13 people as soon as possible but I don't want to specify any day and date", said Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (above, at right).

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