Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Thai cave rescue: First of the trapped boys emerge

Thai cave rescue: First of the trapped boys emerge

Twelve boys - aged 11-16- and their coach have been trapped in the caves for two weeks near Chang Rai as rescuers carefully watched the weather.

Of the 13-strong foreign dive team - mainly from Europe - three escorted the children, while the remainder were positioned along the risky first kilometre stretch, where the boys had to navigate through submerged passageways in some places no more than two feet (0.6 of meter) wide.

Their escape led to an explosion of jubilation on social media in Thailand as the rescued boys were rushed to hospital.

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.

According to a document released by the Thai authorities, the operation has involved two divers accompanying each of the teenagers, who are being brought out in groups.

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 even for professionals.

The four youth soccer players, who were rescued from a cave in Thailand where their coach and eight teammates remain trapped for at least another day, are being evaluated at a hospital for everything from infections to oxygen deprivation and dysentery, medical experts said.

8 out of the 13 boys of the Thai junior football team were rescued from the flooded Tham Luang cave in Thailand.

The aunt and grandmother of one of the boys, Prajak Sutham, said earlier in the day they learned the rescue effort was underway via Facebook, and were anxiously awaiting news that Prajak had made it out safely.

Officials had looked at many different ways to save the boys and their coach. The team is huddled in an enclosed area of the cave, in which oxygen levels are falling, and the incoming rain could end up shrinking the unflooded space to around 100 square feet.

"We need to refill", Mr Narongsak said.

The four boys rescued Sunday are recovering in a nearby hospital and are yet to see their parents.

Thai authorities say they have resumed operations to rescue members of a boys' soccer team trapped in a flooded cave after successfully getting four of the boys out Sunday.

Late Sunday, nine hours after they entered the cave, elite divers emerged carrying four of the teenage boys who were quickly transferred to waiting ambulances.

On Saturday, Musk tweeted that he was interested in designing "a tiny, kid-sized submarine" that would be "light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps". Crews will have to replenish air tanks along the route before rescuing the others.

The Wild Boars and their coach became trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the vast cave complex after soccer practice, when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels. It's uncertain whether this submarine will be deployed in the next mission, but the next strategy meeting for rescue workers is scheduled for Sunday night. If all the boys and their coach are able to be rescued, they'll likely be showered with affection by their families and well-wishers. "They walk from chamber three to mouth of the cave".

Authorities have said the boys are being held close to divers and wear oxygen masks to enable normal breathing. "With our informal assessment, we found that most of the boys are in green condition", Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn told reporters.

One particularly touching note from another boy said: "I'm doing fine, but the air is a little cold, but don't worry". "The boys' strength, the plan - today we are ready like before".

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