Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Eight boys brought safely out of flooded Thai caves in two days

Eight boys brought safely out of flooded Thai caves in two days

The saga has dominated global headlines, with the team spending nine days unaccounted for inside the cave, before British divers found them - emaciated and dishevelled - huddling on a muddy bank above the flooding.

The rescue began yesterday with the first four boys brought out.

The final four and their coach are expected to be rescued later Tuesday after 17 nights inside the cave system.

A crack team of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS guided the boys during a nine-hour operation through almost 4 km (2.5 miles) of sometimes submerged, pitch-dark channels from where they have been trapped for more than a fortnight. We've started giving them "medical food" this morning.

Officials said the first mission lasted about 11 hours, while the second mission was two hours faster.

Jesada Chokdumrongsuk, deputy director-general of the Public Health Ministry, said the first four boys rescued, aged 12 to 16, are now able to eat normal food.

Provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said in a press briefing that the boys taken to the Chiang Rai hospital Monday were all conscious and in better condition than those rescued Sunday, classifying them as "good" and "safe", CNN reported.

Eight boys have now been rescued from Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand after a youth soccer team intending to write their names on the wall of the tourist attraction was driven miles into the labyrinth by sudden monsoon rains that seasonally close and flood the caverns.

Dozens of foreign divers and other experts from around the world were brought in to help the rescue effort, working alongside the Thai Navy SEALs. It is now unclear whether Musk or his technology will be used in the rescue efforts, but Musk confirmed via tweet that the submarine is in Thailand and ready to be used if needed.

Asked why the rescue had become such a major news story in Thailand and the rest of the world, Wolffhechel highlighted the human aspect.

"If everything goes right, we will see four kids and a doctor and three Seals that have stayed with the kids will all come out".

Crowds at the teeming rescue site cheer the good news, but attention soon turns to the hard task of getting the boys out safely.

Celebrations will be tinged with sadness over the loss of a former Thai navy diver who died last Friday while on a re-supply mission inside the cave in support of the rescue.

"All five will be brought out at the same time today", said the head of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakornon, on Tuesday.

"Doctors have treated the boys and now all of them are okay and cheerful".

After garnering headlines with initial ideas of installing a giant air tube inside the cave complex and using his firm's penetrating radar to dig holes to reach the boys, Musk offered his idea for the mini-sub.

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