Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Thailand cave rescue set to resume for 9 still trapped

Four Thai Boys have been rescued so far using buddy diving Thai Navy SEALs use Facebook for nail-biting updates on cave rescue mission
Russell Knight | 09 July, 2018, 12:56

Four boys among a group of 13 trapped in a flooded Thai cave for more than a fortnight were rescued on Sunday, authorities said, raising hopes elite divers would also save the others. He said the boys rescued Sunday were strong and safe but needed to undergo medical checks. He would ferry the boys to and from home when their parents could not and took responsibility for them as if they were his own family.

Thirteen foreign cave diving experts have entered the cave to join the rescue operation since 10:00 local time on Sunday.

Meanwhile rescuers fed a kilometres-long air pipe into the cave to restore oxygen levels in the chamber where the team was sheltering with medics and divers.

Eight boys and the coach remained inside the cave as authorities paused the global effort to replenish air tanks along the treacherous exit route. He said that four boys were rescued in Sunday's effort.

The first two boys - described as the weakest of the group - emerged from the Tham Luang cave complex and were immediately placed into ambulances where they were transported to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital one hour away.

The letters were posted to the Thai Navy SEALS Facebook page.

Media members walking to the area opposite the hospital said that reporters, hospital staff members or nearby residents were not allowed to take photos by camera or phones in the area or officials guarding the front area would confiscate their devices.

Divers have been guiding the boys through darkness and submerged passageways towards the mouth of the Tham Luang cave system, where they have reportedly been able to walk the last part on foot.

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Expert climbers, divers and Thai Navy Seals have mulled contingencies ranging from drilling an escape route through the northern Thailand mountain to waiting out the monsoon inside the cave.

There's been no shortage of warnings in recent days about how risky the rescue attempt is - not least the death of former Thai Navy Sgt. Saman Kunan, an ex-SEAL, who died early Friday morning due to a lack of air while attempting to return to a command center deep underground.

The rescue divers and boys in Thailand must dive, swim and climb their way to safety along a pitch-black tunnel that at certain points is barely big enough to allow an adult to wriggle through.

An Australian doctor who is part of the worldwide team of rescuers checked the health of the boys Saturday to decide who should be brought to the surface first. Rising water levels, too, as the result of heavy rains is also an issue.

The boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach became stranded when they went exploring in the cave after a practice game.

The ordeal has riveted Thailand and captured the world's attention.

Thai rescuers are being assisted by an global team comprising experts from China, Australia, the U.S. and Britain.

"I promise to take the very best care of the kids", he wrote.

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