Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Final Rescue Mission For Trapped Thai Boys' Football Team Is Underway

Emergency workers inside the caves during mission to rescue remaining players and coach from deep inside the flooded Tham Luang complex Final Rescue Mission For Trapped Thai Boys' Football Team Is Underway
Shannon Reynolds | 10 July, 2018, 16:22

"Twelve Wild Boars [team members] and their coach are out of the cave", the Thai Navy SEALs said on Facebook on Tuesday.

Rescue operations chief Narongsak Osottanakorn described Sunday's initial rescue bid as "D-Day" when it was launched, and there were fears that any one of many potential pitfalls could prove deadly.

Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, centre, said at a press conference Tuesday that the boys rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand will be staying in hospital at least seven days.

On Tuesday morning the first four boys rescued over the weekend were given bread and chocolate after asking for some of their favorite dishes from home.

The plight of the boys and their coach has drawn global attention, with divers, engineers and medics among others flying in from around the world to assist.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha dismissed rumours on Tuesday that the boys had been drugged to facilitate the operation, saying the children had not been given anaesthetic. They'll also be bringing back 3 Navy SEALS and a medic who have been in the cave with the team since the first day of the rescue efforts.

Thai army soldiers return from Tham Luang cave on day three of the rescue operation.

Earlier Monday, Narongsak said the four rescued the day before were in good spirits.

Torrential rain struck the site on Monday evening and it continued through into the morning, but authorities said preparations for the final rescue mission were unaffected.

It's been more than two weeks since the 12 boys and their soccer coach became trapped in the flooded Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai.

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Narongsak said after the first four boys were rescued that they would be quarantined "for a while because we are concerned about infections".

The final stage of the operation involves 19 rescue workers, and it would also retrieve a doctor and three Thai Navy SEALs who have stayed with the group since they were found over a week ago.

One boy and the football team's coach remain inside, along with a few rescue crew who have been keeping them company.

This means that a total of eleven boys are now out of the caves, and on their way for hospital observation via helicopter.

"The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems", Mr Jesada said.

Two of the boys possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said.

"They are diving in something considered (an) extremely hazardous environment in zero visibility, the only light that is in there is the torch light we bring our self".

But heavy rain forced authorities to move quickly as the rising water inside the cave threatened to shrink the space on the muddy ledge they sat on.

The rescue missions take almost half a day to complete.

But although the eight were rescued, there were concerns they may have contracted an illness while in the cave. The sub, dubbed Wild Boar after the soccer team's name, is ready for use when and if necessary, Musk said in another tweet, adding that the vessel will remain in Thailand in case it's needed in the future.

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