Thailand official: Boys may have to dive during cave rescue operation

Lynette Rowe
July 4, 2018

"But they're alive", Longman said.

They are taking food, electricity equipments and telephone wires as they are trying to set up an control center in a chamber about 3 km away from where the boys are believed to be, according to Narongsak Osottanakorn, governor of Chiang Rai province. To leave the cave, they may need to learn to dive or wait months for the flooding to recede.

Authorities say the only ways the 12 teenage boys and their coach can escape will be by learning to scuba dive, getting dragged out by divers, or waiting months for the flooding that trapped them in the cave to subside.

Anmar Mirza, a leading American cave rescue expert, said many challenges remain for the rescuers.

"They will be taken out of the cave, when it is safe enough". "Brilliant", one of the British rescuers responded as the boys confirmed that all 13 team members were present and accounted for, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy. After a break in the weather in recent days, the Thai Meteorological Department forecast for Chiang Rai calls for light rain through Friday followed by heavy rain starting Saturday and continuing through July 10. "But the operation isn't over", he said in comments broadcast nationwide, referring to the complicated process of extricating them.

National news bulletins have been dominated by updates from the mammoth search involving more than 1,000 personnel, including rescue teams from the United States, Britain, Japan and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, families of the 13 victims burst with joy Monday night upon learning that 10-day-long rescue operations at the Tham Luang Cave have finally been successful.

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Chiang Rai Province Governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said: "We worked so hard to find them and we will not lose them".

Global rescue teams from Australia, Britain, United States and China had all joined with Thai Navy seals to find the boys and their coach. The group was discovered by British divers Richard Stanton and John Volanthen about 400 m (440 yds) beyond a chamber nicknamed Pattaya Beach.

Thai navy SEAL divers have been crucial to the search, but have been stymied by muddy water reaching the cave's ceiling, forcing them to suspend operations again and again.

"Everyone is coming together to figure out the next course of action and how to bring them out as safely and as quickly as possible", Tait said. Several have been found and explorers have been able to descend into some, but so far it is not clear whether they lead to anywhere useful. But the rainy season in Thailand lasts until around October, meaning the engineers will be battling heavy rain and high water levels for months.

But experts say that as the boys can not swim, the safest solution would be to wait for the water to drain from the cave. Many, many people. We're the first. An official Australian group has followed a US military team, British cave experts, Chinese lifesaving responders and several other volunteer groups from various countries.

Cochrane said thousands of soldiers have been scouring the mountain looking for ventilation shafts that could provide a back door to the cave.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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