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

Rescued boys in high spirits, day three's mission underway

Rescued boys in high spirits, day three's mission underway

On Sunday, divers held the first four boys close to bring them out, and each had to wear an oxygen mask to enable normal breathing, authorities said.

A team of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS guided the boys during a nine-hour operation through almost 4 km of sometimes submerged, pitch-dark channels from where they have been trapped for more than a fortnight.

Although eight boys have been rescued, four young soccer players and their coach still remain behind.

He said they would need to keep at least two metres away for their boys for at least 48 hours, until "we are sure there is no infection, then they can visit them normally".

The extraction of the four on Monday followed a similar pattern to the previous day, with the youngsters emerging in quick succession just before nightfall after navigating a treacherous escape route of more than four kilometres (2.5 miles) that included extremely narrow and flooded tunnels.

Also yesterday, July 9, in Thailand, rescuers completed the second phase of the special operation of evacuation of schoolchildren from the flooded caves in Chiang Rai province.

Four boys and their football coach are waiting to make the long and arduous journey out of the cave complex.

The operation on Monday went more smoothly than on Sunday and took two hours less as the practice became more refined, he said.

The leaders overseeing the desperate and unsafe rescue of 12 young soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave labyrinth in northern Thailand were only half joking when they quipped that success was in the hands of the rain god Phra Pirun.

Rescue teams plan third day of mission to free remaining members of Wild Boars soccer team; Jeff Paul reports from Thailand.

But the death of a former Thai Navy SEAL diver who ran out of oxygen in the cave on Friday underscored the danger of the journey.

The parents were allowed to see their children through glass at the hospital, according to the BBC's Jonathan Head.

The eight boys that have been rescued so far are weak but in good health, Kimberlee says. People on the street cheered and clapped when ambulances ferrying them on the last leg of their journey from the cave arrived at a hospital in Chiang Rai city in far northern Thailand near the Myanmar border.

"All five will be brought out at the same time today", he said, to cheers from reporters and rescue workers.

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

The global soccer federation, FIFA, had already invited the boys to attend the World Cup final in Russia this Sunday.

"I beg Phra Pirun because the Meteorological Department said that from Monday on there will be continuous rain", Bancha said.

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