Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Thai cave rescue hero emerges to family tragedy

Thai cave rescue hero emerges to family tragedy

A total of 13 people, 12 boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach, were initially trapped in the flooded cave since June 23. But he added they can not yet have the spicy treats that many Thais like to eat.

"The equipment they brought to help us is not practical [for use] with our mission", rescue operations commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn told the BBC.

Rescuers are racing to remove the remaining five members of the Wild Boar soccer team from the cave before the return of heavy monsoon rains. And the confidence of the diving team, and expertise specific to the cave, grew after its first successful mission Sunday.

He also acknowledged the loss of a former navy SEAL, Saman Kunan, who died last week while replenishing air tanks inside the cave.

Experts warned that drinking contaminated water or otherwise being exposed to bird or bat droppings in the cave could lead to risky infections.

The four boys rescued Sunday can eat normal food and walk around, and the four pulled out Monday were eating soft food.

Musk floated a plan on Twitter on Friday that could help rescue the boys and said engineers from his companies would travel to Thailand on Saturday.

For the first half of the journey back, the boys were forced to wade or dive through flooded passes for as much as 10 to 15 minutes underwater at a time.

Two of the boys are thought to have lung infections, but there are no serious complaints to report.

The boys' parents would be able to visit them, he said.

"The kids are footballers, so they have high immune systems", Jedsada told a news conference.

- Divers and rescue workers in Thailand have begun what could be the final push to free four boys and their soccer coach still trapped in a cave in the country's remote north, according to a Thai Navy official with knowledge of the operational details. He added that all of them were generally healthy and in good spirits, thanks to their "high immunity" from playing football.

He went in to assess the boys' health and stayed with them for three days. "But we will have a psychiatrist evaluate them".

He also administered a sedative to the boys to calm them for the epic exit. He said they would likely be in the hospital for at least a week.

US President Donald Trump tweeted "great job" and British Prime Minister Theresa May said: "The world was watching and will be saluting the bravery of all those involved". "Such a handsome moment - all freed, great job!"

"I have one [of] the world's best engineering teams, who normally design spaceships and spacesuits, working on this thing 24 hours a day", Musk wrote in an email to Dick Stanton, one of the leaders of the search and rescue effort in Thailand, on July 8.

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

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