Eight Boys Rescued from Flooded Thai Cave

Annette Crawford
July 10, 2018

Thai authorities say four more boys have arrived safely at the hospital following their rescue after having been trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks.

By Monday night, elite divers had managed to bring out eight members of the football team which included 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach.

"I am very happy about those who already made it out and I think everyone will be out today", said Waranchit Karnkaew, 14, who also said the football-mad boys had been closely following games at the World Cup in Russian Federation before they were trapped. He added that the rescue mission today was the "best situation". The death of a former Thai Navy SEAL diver on Friday, who ran out of oxygen, underscored the danger of the mission, which has been termed a "war against time and rains".

But the chances of monsoon rains sending torrents of water into the cave and making the rescue effort too risky is never far from the minds of everyone involved in the operation. 'Doctors have told us we must be careful about the food that is given to them because they are fragile after starving for many days.

"All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday, " Narongsak told a news conference. "But if the rain god doesn't help, then it could be challenging", Narongsak said.

One particularly touching note from another boy said: "I'm doing fine, but the air is a little cold, but don't worry".

The weather in Chiang Rai, Thailand, where the boys and their coach are trapped in a cave, is "actually quite dry", said CBS News foreign correspondent Ben Tracy.

The boys, who got stuck inside the cave when it flooded June 23, survived until they were found nine days later only by drinking water that dripped off the stalactites hanging above them.

He said hopes were high given how quickly the last boys were brought out.

Their friends were full of optimism - and worry. Tracy also noted that the glimpse we've seen of the trapped boys showed they appeared to be in good spirits.

"Even when my friends have left the cave, I'm anxious about their physical well-being".

All the eight boys have been admitted to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital, where they have been put in quarantine to guard against possible infections.

Giving an update on the four boys pulled from the cave Sunday, Narongsak said, "This morning, they said they were hungry and wanted to eat khao pad grapao" - a popular Thai rice dish of meat stir-fried with basil and chili peppers.

The other, and perhaps more worrying, was that oxygen levels in the complex were falling close to unsafe levels.

He said rescuers would resume an operation to retrieve a remaining five people in about 20 hours' time. The message, like most posted by the SEALs, ended with the fighting cheer adopted from the US Navy: Hooyah.

Divers have said making the four kilometre journey from where the boys are trapped to freedom is a challenging one for even the experienced rescue team. Previously, round trips through the cave network would take about 11 hours.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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