Friday, 21 September, 2018

First two Thai schoolboys rescued from flooded cave

4 Boys Freed From Thailand Cave as Rescue Mission Begins Thai Navy SEALs use Facebook for nail-biting updates on cave rescue mission
Kenny Thornton | 10 July, 2018, 22:32

The operation to rescue the remaining eight boys - some as young as 11 and weak swimmers - and the coach was called off at nightfall until Monday to give the divers time to replenish oxygen supplies and ensure all preparations were complete.

A treacherous rescue bid to free a youth football team trapped in a flooded Thai cave entered its second day Monday, with nine of the "Wild Boars" still inside after elite divers guided four out.

The first four boys in the team were rescued on Sunday and are in a stable condition in hospital.

The boys were taken straight to hospital.

Australian Federal Police and Defense Force divers, along with Australian cave diver and anesthetist Richard Harris, 53, are part of the team continuing to work on extracting the remaining members of the team.

More than 90 divers were involved in the rescue operation, which will continue today.

The cave system, in a limestone mountain range bordering Myanmar in northern Thailand, has proven to be a formidable challenge for the global rescue coalition, drawing some of the world's best divers who have volunteered to help in the operation alongside Thai Navy Seals.

Four boys have been brought above ground so far in good health, rescuers say.

The province is expected to experience flooding on Monday and Tuesday, further delaying the rescue effort.

Four boys and their coach remain in the cave. The team is huddled in an enclosed area of the cave, in which oxygen levels are falling, and the incoming rain could end up shrinking the unflooded space to around 100 square feet. The fellow classmates and teachers from the same school have described to the press the preparations they have made for the boys. "I had been anxious about my son, that he would be exhausted, he would be tired", he said. "Your question doesn't do any good", he said.

He said the healthiest were taken out first, and the next phase of the operation would start in 10-20 hours.

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Thirteen medical teams were stationed outside the cave - each with its own helicopter and ambulance - one for each of the 12 boys and their coach.

The operation to rescue the boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach by having them dive out of the flooded cave began Sunday morning, with expert divers entering the sprawling complex for the complicated and risky mission.

But as the divers reached their destination, the heavens opened, sending water cascading into the cave system.

Applause erupted as Mr Narongsak said he had met the children and their health is "perfect".

That sense of accomplishment was also reflected in the message posted Monday night on the Thai Navy SEALS's Facebook page announcing the latest rescues. They were found more than a week later, stuck on a small muddy patch deep in the cave's network of chambers.

In the rescues, two divers are being allocated for each boy to guide them through the exit route, one in front and one behind. Rescuers have been unable to extend a hose pumping oxygen all the way to where the boys are, but have brought them some oxygen tanks.

"Hopefully useful", said Musk.

One of the boys, identified as Tun, wrote: "Mom and Dad, please don't worry, I am fine". "I'm so happy the children came out safely".

Narongsak said that the "same multinational team" that went into the cave on Sunday to retrieve the first four boys was deployed on Monday.

In one, Pheerapat, nicknamed "Night", whose 16th birthday the group were celebrating in the cave when they became stuck on June 23, said: "I love you, Dad, Mum and my sister".

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