Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

At Least Two Boys Have Been Rescued From Thai Cave

At Least Two Boys Have Been Rescued From Thai Cave

Officials have said storms forecast for Chiang Rai province in Thailand's far north had factored into their decision to go ahead with a complicated and risky plan to have the boys and their coach dive out of the cave.

Elon Musk is testing equipment created to help rescue the remaining members of a Thai youth soccer team who are trapped in a cave, the Tesla CEO tweeted on Sunday.

The boys were each being led by two divers as they went through 4km of pitch darkness, trudged through thick mud, clambered over slippery jagged rocks and dived through narrow passageways swirling with cold, strong currents.

Narongsak said Monday's rescues involving 18 divers and a support team of 100 had taken nine hours, two fewer than the rescues on Sunday.

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.

Foreign elite divers and Thai Navy SEALS were forced to begin the complex operation to extract the boys earlier than they had hoped on Sunday morning because forecast rainfall was threatening more flooding that might doom the mission.

"Clearly there is a huge risk of someone panicking if they are not used to the diving environment", Tony Haigh, a spokesman for the British Cave Rescue Council, which had two divers that found the boys, told the Post.

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They said the four boys already rescued are hungry but in good health in a hospital.

Four boys and their coach remain in the cave.

Meanwhile, rescuers have a dwindling window of opportunity, with forecasters predicting the return of heavy monsoon rains in the coming days, effectively sealing off the cave until October.

But Osottanakorn said on Sunday it would be up to boys and a doctor inside the cave with them to determine the order in which they would exit. "When they're deprived of light and their comfort issues from home there can be psychological sequelae that have to be addressed, and we've seen that before with people who have been held hostage or in kind of hard environmental situations", Ashton said, referring to the medical term for the after effects of a traumatic incident.

Those still inside the cave are perched on a small muddy ledge four kilometers (2.5 miles) inside the cave complex, surrounded by flood water and with a limited supply of oxygen.

"It's unsafe to the most experienced divers to go through", one diver told Reuters.

It's been nearly 24 hours since a joint Thai-international rescue team successfully navigated flooded, narrow tunnels to bring out four members of the Wild Boars youth soccer team who went missing in the cave complex on June 23.

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Wednesday, June 27: A team of more than 30 American military personnel from the US Pacific Command arrive, including pararescue and survival specialists.

The Thai Navy Seals said in a Facebook post just before 10pm yesterday, "Tonight, we can sleep well", as the Day 1 rescue operation came to a close.

It was the rain that stranded the boys and their coach inside the cave to begin with, after they ventured into the cave network last month.

In an earlier tweet, the Boring Company CEO said this prototype was being tested in a pool specifically with subjects untrained in SCUBA.

A team of 13 worldwide cave diving experts and five Thai divers entered the precarious cave system at 10am local time on Sunday, after attempts to drill through to them were abandoned. "We will have to do the next mission as successfully as the one we did today".

"To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care".

One particularly touching note from another boy said: "I'm doing fine, but the air is a little cold, but don't worry".

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