Monday, 23 July, 2018

3rd mission underway at Thai cave, aims to rescue all left

Thailand Ministry of Public Health Thailand Ministry of Public Health
Ellis Copeland | 13 July, 2018, 20:38

Four boys and their soccer coach remain in the cave.

The first four boys who were rescued on Sunday have been allowed to see their families through a glass window as doctors continue to conduct thorough health checks and monitor the boys for any contagious diseases.

He added that the divers were the "same multinational team" that rescued the four boys on Sunday.

The hoped-for final chapter in an ordeal that has gripped the world comes after elite foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALs escorted eight members of the "Wild Boars" football team out of the claustrophobic network of tunnels on Sunday and Monday.

Also yesterday, July 9, in Thailand, rescuers completed the second phase of the special operation of evacuation of schoolchildren from the flooded caves in Chiang Rai province.

Thai authorities say four more boys were rescued Monday after having been trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks.

However, organizers declined to confirm whether they would attempt to bring all five out in the third push, with the plan so far being to bring out four at a time.

This final mission aims to rescue the last remaining 4 members of the team, as well as their coach.

The optimistic mood was in contrast to the saddened atmosphere at the cave last week, after former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan, 37, died while laying air tanks underground on Thursday.

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But although the eight were rescued, there were concerns they may have contracted an illness while in the cave.

Technology billionaire Elon Musk went into the cave on Monday and left the rescue team with a "kid-sized" submarine his company SpaceX had built, Thailand's interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said.

The boys that have been rescued are aged 12-16, confirming that the youngest boy and the team's coach remain inside the cave.

"When the first group came, their temperatures were low", he said. He added, "They still need to be kept away from their parents and others due to fear about infection".

"Although his technology is good and sophisticated, it's not practical for this mission", the rescue chief said. It takes the divers about eight hours to get into the cave, reach the boys, and bring them back out.

"Although his technology is good and sophisticated, it's not practical for this mission", Narongsak said of Musk's mini-sub.

Mr Jesada said they were uncertain what type of infections the boys could face "because we have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave".

The global soccer federation, FIFA, had already invited the boys to attend the World Cup final in Russia this Sunday.

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