Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Military helicopter believed to be carrying two of the Thai students

First boys rescued from cave in northern Thailand after two-week ordeal Military helicopter believed to be carrying two of the Thai students
Patty Aguilar | 11 July, 2018, 04:45

The tense mood which has enveloped the makeshift village has lifted as the first two boys came safely out of the Tham Luang caves.

The boys were rescued using full face masks, with the first one emerging out of the cave at about 17:40 local time Sunday, followed by the second one 10 minutes later, Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn told a press briefing at the site after the first successful operation.

Thirteen medical teams were stationed outside the cave - each with its own helicopter and ambulance - one for each of 12 boys and their coach. It remains unclear how numerous boys have actually left the cave.

"Today was the best day, the best situation in terms of the weather, the health of the boys, our water management for our rescue effort", the governor said. Officials feared that an incoming storm could send water flooding back into the cave and make an escape even more hard for the boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach.

Celebrations were tinged with sadness over the loss of a former Thai navy diver who died on Friday while on a re-supply mission inside the cave.

Anupong said divers need to place more air canisters along the underwater route to where the boys and their coach have been trapped since June 23. They eventually found a dry landing spot, where they waited for nine days before being found by two British divers.

The divers formed part of the "daisy chain" of rescuers who led the four boys to the surface on Sunday.

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Four schoolboys were rescued yesterday from the flooded cave where they had been trapped for 15 days with eight football teammates and their coach, marking a breakthrough in a remarkable operation watched by the world.

Thais were quick to jump onto social media on Sunday night to celebrate the rescue of the initial four. Operation chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said a total of 90 divers would be involved in the rescue mission, with 40 divers from Thailand, and 50 from overseas, including the United States, Australia, China, and Europe, according to the Washington Post.

The boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old became stranded when they went exploring in the cave after a practice game. Narongsak said the four were then taken to a hospital.

On Saturday, the Tesla CEO tweeted he had several alternative plans, but that he had agreed with his team of experts the best idea was building a small submarine "fitted for a kid".

An Australian doctor who is part of the rescue mission checked the health of the boys on Saturday night and gave the all-clear for the operation to proceed. A storm arrived while the group was deep inside, where they couldn't hear the rain, and were trapped when water sloshed into the cave. We will have to do the next mission as successfully as the one we did today.

Families of the teenage soccer players have expressed their joy over the discovery of the boys. "He's thinner", she said, as she ran her finger over the image of her son on a television screen.

Four Thai boys have been freed from the cave and taken to hospital via helicopter. Suggestions have included teaching the boys how to dive, and waiting until the waters subside.

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