4 boys rescued from Thai cave

09 July, 2018, 07:32 | Author: Judy Cobb
  • GettyThe billionaire said the submarine would take 8 hours to complete

In this undated photo released by Royal Thai Navy on Saturday, July 7, 2018, Thai rescue team members walk inside a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand.

They expected the process to take two or three days with two divers escorting each boy.

The video also showed a Caucasian diver walking heavily up a muddy slope carrying a face mask and a small oxygen tank, wearing a backpack with his flippers dangling behind his legs. After the boys emerge from the cave, they will be taken in an ambulance to be evacuated from the cave site via helicopter, provided weather conditions are safe for flying.

But the rescue was prodded into action by the threat of a fresh round of rains and falling oxygen levels in the cave.

The rescue mission is proving to be hard for divers whose efforts are continually hampered by rising water that has filled sections of the cave, often forcing them to stop. He has also thanked global experts who helped find the boys.

13 foreign divers and five Thai navy SEALs are working in pairs to guide the boys, aged 11-16, through the cave's winding chambers.

As the rescue mission was temporarily suspended while teams restocked on supplies, crews made preparations to free the remaining eight boys and their 25-year-old coach.

Diving teams and medical personnel entered the cave at 10:00 local time (03:00 GMT), rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters on Sunday.

Extracting everyone could take up to four days, but the initial success raised hopes that could be done.

Governor of Chiang Rai province, Narongsak Osatanakorn, said: "Today is D-Day".

A former member of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit died during a dive on Thursday night, a grim turn in what began two weeks ago as an outing to celebrate the birthday of one of the boys.

Meanwhile, the rescue team at the Tham Luang cave complex decided that the situation was too dire to wait any longer. "Divers will work with doctors in the cave to examine each the kids' health to determine who should get to come out first", Narongsak said Sunday morning. Ropes were installed to help guide the boys through the darkness.

As the monsoon rains begin, water is being pumped out of the caves and a plan is being developed to bring them to safety.

Billionaire tech developer Elon Musk had also offered to provide assistance, in the form of a "kid-size submarine", which could arrive in Thailand early Monday, local time.

The mission reportedly paused due to depleted oxygen levels in the cave.

Officials are now limiting the number of rescue workers who can travel into the cave to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that builds when they exhale.

"The rescue team of the Wild Boars should be given this year's World Cup trophy", one person wrote on Facebook, referring to the boys by the name of their football team.

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