Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Thai cave rescue miracle was ‘nearly a disaster’ as pump FAILED

Thai cave rescue miracle was ‘nearly a disaster’ as pump FAILED

Divers have begun the third phase of the rescue of a youth soccer team trapped for more than two weeks in a flooded cave in northern Thailand and aim to bring out the last four boys and their coach Tuesday, the top rescue official said.

The catchphrase "Hooyah" was trending on Twitter after Thai Navy SEALs used it repeatedly on their Facebook page as a rallying cry during the operation.

The boys were trapped in the Tham Luan Nang Non cave that became flooded by monsoon rains while they were exploring it after a soccer practice on June 23.

British divers found the 13, hungry and huddled in darkness on a muddy bank in a partly flooded chamber several kilometers inside the Tham Luang cave complex, on Monday last week.

Four boys were rescued Sunday, and another four were guided to safety on Monday.

The members of the "Wild Boars" team, aged between 12 and 16, were guided to safety through the twisting, submerged passages of the Tham Luang cave by a team of global expert divers flanked by Thai Navy SEALs over two days in a meticulously planned operation.

Then another four of the youngsters were successfully brought out of the cave, with the first rescue carried out shortly before 5pm local time, a few hours after the mission entered its second day.

"My wife actually grew up with the Thai Navy SEAL that died in the cave".

This handout video grab taken from footage released by The Thai government public relations department (PRD) and Government spokesman bureau on July 11, 2018 shows members of the "Wild Boars" football team being treated at a hospital in Chiang Rai.

The parents of the first four boys to be rescued were allowed to pay bedside visits to their quarantined children on the condition they wear hazmat suits and keep a distance of two meters.

Two of the boys had suspected lung infections but the four boys from the first group rescued were all walking around their hospital beds.

Reuters reports that soccer's governing body, FIFA, has invited the boys to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday if they make it out in time. The boys had no previous diving experience so the rescuers trained them how to use a mask and breathe underwater via an oxygen tank.

Thailand's prime minister welcomed Musk into the cave complex late Monday, with the American later tweeting a standing offer of a mini-submarine escape pod to help the remaining five leave the tunnels.

The youngest member of the Wild Boar team in the cave is just 11 years old. The eight rescued boys are healthy are in 'high spirits.' They are under constant medical supervision to eliminate any risk of infection. "Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future".

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