Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Former Thai Navy Seal dies trying to rescue boys trapped in cave

Rescuers prepare dive gear at the entrance to a cave complex in which 12 boys and their soccer coach are trapped in Mae Sai Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand Thailand Cave Rescue: Crews Race to Pump Out Water to Extract Soccer Team Ahead of Expected Rain
Kenny Thornton | 07 July, 2018, 07:12

We are praying for each of you, for each of the families and for these children. They can not dive out at this time - the problem is the children's readiness to dive, " said Narongsak Osottanakorn, the commander of the rescue mission.

"Once we confirm what exactly will be helpful to send or do, we will".

Thai authorities have ruled out an overnight rescue of the 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a cave in north-western Thailand, dismissing suggestions such an attempt was imminent.

The sheer danger was made all the more apparent on Friday by the death of Saman Kunan, a former Thai Navy SEAL diver, who ran out of oxygen while returning from the chamber where the boys are trapped.

The group was found to be skinny, but in good health, and have received high-protein drinks as they are treated by the Underwater Demolition Assault Unit.

Samarn died early on Friday after he and a fellow volunteer were on their way back from placing oxygen tanks deep inside the cave. "His buddy tried to administer first aid, when there was no response he tried to move him", Apakorn said. "We won't let our colleagues die for nothing". "We will carry on".

"See you at Tham Luang in Chiang Rai", says Saman.

"A navy SEAL just passed away last night. How about a 12-year-old boy that will have to pass through?" said Rafael Aroush, an Israeli living in Thailand and volunteer at the site. REUTERS/Stinger THAILAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN THAILAND.

"There will be rain and many things could go wrong".

"On behalf of the American people, I extend my deepest condolences to his family and commend his true bravery and selflessness in service to his country", Davies said in a statement.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, the governor of the Chiang Rai region, where the cave is situated, said that the boys had enough strength to walk but could not swim to safety.

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The dramatic rescue efforts and the boys' plight have garnered worldwide attention - perhaps most notably at soccer's most widely-watched event, the World Cup.

Speaking to CNN Wednesday, Cade Courtley, a former US Navy SEAL said bringing the children out through the flooded tunnels could be treacherous.

The effort has also brought global assistance including US military personnel and the British cave-divers who first found the boys on Monday.

The team has been trapped in a chamber of the cave system since June 23.

The muddy bank where the boys are stranded is about 2.5 miles (4km) from the front entrance of the cave, and sections of the final 1.7km stretch are completely underwater.

But getting them out won't be easy. But others say the boys could be out in a matter of days if the weather is on their side and water can be pumped out of the cave complex, and if they can be taught to use scuba gear.

Officials are considering a rescue plan involving a "buddy dive" - where an experienced adult diver would swim with each boy - to evacuate the team members, according to a U.S. official familiar with the joint rescue operation. The point is very narrow. He also thanked worldwide experts who helped find the boys.

With monsoon season typically lasting until October, the latter option could take months.

On Friday, rescue teams continued to scour the mountainside looking for possible chimneys or areas where workers could drill into the cave's roof and then possibly airlift the boys out.

Heavy monsoon rains are forecast for next week in most of the north, according to Thailand's meteorological department.

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