Treacherous Thai cave rescue bid enters day 2

Lester Mason
July 10, 2018

Two divers were to accompany each of the boys, all of whom have been learning to dive only since July 2, when the first searchers found them.

Less than an hour after the helicopter took off, Thai public television aired live video of a medivac helicopter landing close to a hospital in the city of Chiang Rai, around 60 kilometers (37 miles) from 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.

They said the four boys already rescued are hungry but in good health in a hospital.

At the Mae Sai Prasitsart school, where six of the 12 boys studied, the principal and teachers said they promised to give the boys a lighter homework load once they are back in class. The second leg of the operation was placed on hold overnight as oxygen tanks were replenished and defibrillators put in place should the rescue take a bad turn. Apart from the Thai authorities, 19 Australian divers are a part of the unsafe rescue mission. Rescuers have been unable to extend a hose pumping oxygen all the way to where the boys are, but have brought them some oxygen tanks.

In an worldwide rescue mission that has gripped the entire world, at least four members of a boys' soccer team were freed on Sunday from a cave in northern Thailand where they had been trapped for more than two weeks.

But as the divers reached their destination, the heavens opened, sending water cascading into the cave system.

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said earlier this week that he'd love to help the effort to rescue a soccer team of young boys trapped in a cave in northern Thailand - and now his contribution is on the way. He said that process can take several hours.

Let's hope the rest of the ambitious operation goes as successfully as its first stage.

Rain began to fall late Sunday, and more rain is forecast throughout the coming days, which could undo ongoing efforts to drain the flooded caverns where the other boys remain trapped.

"They are now at the field hospital near the cave", said Tossathep Boonthong, chief of Chiang Rai's health department and part of the rescue team.

"The heaviest rain has yet to come", said CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar.

The rescue operation commenced on Sunday afternoon, as monsoonal rain threatened to further flood the cave, making a rescue impossible, and possibly depriving the boys of oxygen. However, soon after the press conference, Musk shared a video of the submarine being tested in a pool.

Between the base camp inside the cave and the trapped boys are twisting, turning cave passageways with torrents of water gushing through.

Sam Teller, spokesman for Boring Co., said Sunday that the company has four engineers who are "offering support in any way the government deems useful".

Medical staff involved in the rescue mission say their first assessments when the boys arrive at the hospital will focus on their breathing, signs of hypothermia and an airborne lung infection known as "cave disease".

The area outside the Chiang Rai hospital was cordoned off by police.

With authorities releasing few details of the rescue bid, parents continued their agonising wait to be reunited with their sons.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents were told by rescuers ahead of Sunday's operation the "strongest children" would be brought out first.

The rescue has captured the world's attention, and many have offered their ideas on how to get the team out.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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