Thai officials aim to rescue kids from cave before rain hits

Grant SmithJul 08, 2018

MAE SAI, Thailand Thai rescuers said they will not immediately attempt an underwater evacuation of 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach who have been trapped in a cave for nearly two weeks because they have not learned adequate diving skills in the short time since they were found.

One of the engineers was already in the country on holiday and two more were to arrive on Saturday evening, followed by the remaining six on Sunday, said Lt Gen Weerachon Sukondhapatipak, a deputy government spokesman.

"From what I heard, the water can reach them [there]", Osatanakorn said. "If there's too much risk we will wait but we can not wait until the rain".

While the oxygen level had stabilised he warned levels of "carbon dioxide are another factor" in considering when to move the group - in addition to impending rains which could cover much of the muddy ledge on which the group are sheltering.

The letters provoked a surge of emotion from families, who first endured nine long days before their children were found dishevelled and emaciated but alive on Monday - and now face an agonising wait for a risky evacuation.

The 25-year-old coach says: "To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care".

"And I promise I will take care of the kids as best as I can. Thank you for all the support and please accept my apology".

The boys went missing on June 23 after they had entered the cave in the Chiang Rai region during fine weather but became trapped when a sudden downpour flooded the narrow tunnels.

"Don't worry, we are all strong", one child said in a note. "Although, don't forget to set up my birthday party".

"Please don't worry", the boys said in a collective message before each wrote short personal messages to their loved ones. Some asked for fried chicken, while others simply told their parents that they loved them.

A diver who spent time with the boys said earlier the youngsters wanted to know the results of the matches.

A boy named Mick wrote: "Don't be anxious, I miss everyone. I love you", wrote 11-year-old Chanintr Wiboonroongruang (Titan).

A former Thai Navy SEAL died early Friday while placing oxygen tanks in the cave where a Thai soccer team has been stuck for almost two weeks.

Rescuers found them 10 days later and are now working to find a way to get them out.

One of the rescue options include a "buddy dive" from the cave.

"We will soldier on", Thai SEAL commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew said. "We won't let our colleagues d‌i‌e for nothing".

Thai Navy SEALS released a statement on Facebook on Friday praising their former colleague.

Urgency Builds| Pressure is mounting on Thai authorities to bring forward a rescue plan for 12 boys and their coach trapped deep inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand, after the death of a former navy diver and a drop in oxygen levels underground, CNN reports.

The boys, in their letters, said he was not to be blamed.

It was too unsafe to leave the boys much longer, Yoo-kongkaew said, despite the risks involved in attempting to bring them out. Teams of rescuers also are exploring possible cracks or crevasses that might allow rescuers to break through and make a rescue.

Musk's company, Boring Co, which digs tunnels for transport systems and has advanced ground-penetrating radar, is being utilised to help rescue the team.

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