Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Thai boys rescued from cave must wait to embrace family

Thai cave rescue route GETTYThai cave rescue route The football team were trapped for two weeks
Ellis Copeland | 10 July, 2018, 12:29

The boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach became stranded when they went exploring inside after a practice game.

The Thai official overseeing the effort to rescue members of a teen soccer team trapped in a flooded cave says a third rescue operation has begun Tuesday and aims to bring out the remaining four boys and their coach.

"The factors are as good as yesterday, and the rescue team is the same team with a few replacements for those exhausted", Narongsak Osatanakorn, the governor of Chiang Rai province who's leading the operation, said Monday, The Guardian reported.

The Thai Navy Seals, who have played a critical role in the treacherous rescue efforts, confirmed that four more boys were retrieved from the Tham Luang Nang Non cave.

The team of 12 boys and their coach entered the cave system on June 23, when torrential rain caused the water level within the cave to rise rapidly, forcing them to venture deeper.

Sunday and Monday's rescue missions took between nine and 11 hours.

The four boys pulled from the cave Sunday in an urgent and risky operation that involved them diving through the cave's dark, tight and twisting passages were happy and in good health, authorities said. After the boys were transported to the same hospital as their other teammates, Thai officials said the rescue operation would again be put on hold for up to 20 hours so rescuers could lay down new air tanks and prepare the escape route.

Importantly, as of the time of this writing, eight of the 13 trapped people have already been saved by the heroic actions of rescue divers and support teams.

Four were rescued Sunday and another four were rescued on Monday. "But we will have a psychiatrist to evaluate them".

The boys are expected to remain hospitalized for at least a week, meaning they won't be able to take up FIFA's invitation to attend the World Cup final in Russian Federation.

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They had set out on an adventure to explore the cave - reportedly for a picnic to celebrate one of their birthdays.

The urgent and unsafe effort has involved the boys diving through the cave's tight and twisting passages, guided by experienced divers.

However some of the parents told Reuters they had not been told who had been rescued and that they were not allowed to visit the hospital.

The tech entrepreneur tweeted Tuesday morning he'd "Just returned from Cave 3", referring to the rescuers' command center inside the sprawling cave.

As of Tuesday morning, the last of the group have spent almost 16 days underground after being trapped by floodwaters in the cave in northern Thailand.

They are part of a youth soccer team known as the Wild Boars.

Their only way out is through dark, tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents - perilous conditions that claimed the life of a former Thai navy SEAL last week.

For the first four rescues on Sunday, two divers accompanied each boy, one from the side and one from behind.

Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda also said the boys were in good health.

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