Thai cave rescue: the Australian crew

Frederick Owens
July 11, 2018

Narongsak did not talk about the health of the rescued boys, but he did say the extraction went better than expected.

The story of the "Wild Boars" soccer team, who first ventured into the caves more than two weeks ago before flood waters trapped them inside, has gripped Thai and global media.

The tense mood which has enveloped the makeshift village has lifted as the first two boys came safely out of the Tham Luang caves.

To add even more time pressure onto the situation, there were worries that the boys were running out of oxygen. It is anticipated the remaining rescues will take three or four days to complete.

The four boys were among 12 members of the Wild Boars team, ages 11-16, who ventured deep into the cave along with their 25-year-old coach on June 23.

Thai authorities have asked media to leave the area around the entrance of the cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped for two weeks, fueling speculation that a rescue mission could be imminent.

Monsoon flooding cut off their escape route and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days. "We have set the plan for four people so if they want to take five out (at the same time), then they need to change the plan". But authorities have said it remains unclear how long the boys would have to remain inside.

Thai and global media all are looking for information on boy's condition.

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"It is important to appreciate that the United Kingdom cave divers continue to work alongside the Thai Navy SEAL divers and a combination of cave divers and open water divers from many other nations", the statement said. They said rescuing the eight remaining boys and their soccer coach could take up to four days.

The staff of the emergency services in Thailand was pulled from the caves of Tham Luang young players of the football team. Ambulances and helicopters were brought in to shuttle the boys to a hospital 35 miles away. It was raining Sunday, but Narongsak was optimistic that the rescue could continue Monday. He also floated using a small submarine that's "Light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps". "We have to be 100 percent confident that there is no risk to the boys before we evacuate", provincial governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said.

The group has received food, blankets and medical treatment as they wait for their rescue.

"I'm hoping for good news", he said. We will have to do the next mission as successfully as the one we did today.

"I am still waiting here at the cave, keeping my fingers crossed to see whether my son will be one of those to come out today", Supaluk Sompiengjai, a mother of Pheeraphat - known by his nickname "Night" - told AFP.

Why it is proving hard to extricate Thai cave boys What next?

Osatanakorn said efforts to remove floodwater and divert water flows have been "very successful", but seasonal monsoon rains forecast to hit the region this weekend and throughout next week.

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