New video and gallery shows boys in Thai cave in 'good health'

Howard TerryJul 06, 2018

Authorities said they were still exploring other options, such as scouring the mountainside for other ways into the cave and finding faster ways to pump water from the cave.

Thomas Hester, detective superintendent with the Australian Federal Police Specialist Response Group, said there were "heavily flooded areas" inside the cave complex. "When the rain comes, the water in the cave is going to fill up and it is going to be hard to take the kids out", Natisri told ABC News in an interview Thursday. The boys were weak but able to move around on their own, reported Reuters.

An alternative to asking the group to make the long dive themselves may be to "literally bring them out in packages", British caver Whitehouse said. "We hope that with the help of the rescue team, the boys and their coach will be brought safely out of the cave so that they can be reunited with their families". They found the group's belongings, handprints, and footprints near the cave.

With these factors in mind, Thai Navy SEALs are now rushing to teach the adolescents how to properly dive. "Yesterday, they tried to take in mobile phones but the bag it was in broke", she said.

It takes a healthy adult around three days to learn to scuba dive, usually in calm, clear water, during daylight and with no obstructions overhead.

"We want to evacuate all 13 people as soon as possible but I don't want to specify day and date", Thailand's junta leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha said later.

"We can't risk more flooding", Narongsak said.

It took experts six hours to reach the group.

The focus of Thursday's operations is a third major basin along the route where water still reaches to the ceiling.

Thai Navy Seal commander Rear Admiral Arpakorn Yookongkaew said there's no rush to bring them out as they are safe where they are, adding it would be extremely unsafe to have them dive through the dark, muddy water.

Some relatives of the boys gathered early on Thursday near the cave, where only a few rescuers were marching up to its entrance, in contrast to days of frantic activity during a search that has grabbed media attention around the world.

He also said the team is now recuperating.

"We are talking kilometers of transport under the water with zero visibility", Claus Rasmusen, a certified Thailand-based cave diving instructor who has been helping with the rescue's logistics, told The AP. "Panic and adrenaline are great in certain situations - but not in cave diving", he said.

They would prefer they wait until around October by which time the waters will have subsided and they can walk out.

Mr Narongsak said pumping water out of the cave was the main operation at Tham Luang. Rescuers are trying to lower the level enough and get the children out before then.

"We are calculating the position of the children and the corresponding position on the surface", the official told reporters and said they were looking "for shafts or holes that may be of use".

"We're assessing weather conditions, if it rains and the water level rises, how many hours, days do we have?" he said.

As of late Tuesday, about 120 million liters of water have been pumped out of the cave.

Family members, waiting outside the caves, felt huge relief when all members of the youth soccer team were found alive.

They are now being cared for inside the cave by the some members of the navy. They seem to be in good spirits, occasionally laughing.

The cave rescue will be complicated.

"It's like he has been given a new life", she said, adding that she'll never let her son go into a cave or near water again. Safety is the priority.

Heavy rain is expected to raise water levels inside the cave where the boys are trapped making passage in some parts hard if not impossible.

This is the season of the monsoon, with two inches of rain forecast to fall through Sunday.

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