Divers prepare to resume Thai cave rescue

Lester Mason
July 12, 2018

Last week, a former Thai navy diver died while preparing for the operation.

Officials lavished praise on the Thai and global divers who, in pairs of two, executed the risky rescue mission, guiding the boys, who could barely swim and had no diving experience, through a treacherous 4-kilometer-long (2 1/2-mile) escape route that twisted and turned through the cavern.

Each of the rescued boys has been guided through the dark winding cave by two pairs of divers.

Four boys and their football coach are waiting to make the long and arduous journey out of the cave complex.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has invited the Thai boys' football team trapped in a cave to the World Cup final, as messages of support poured in from top players.

Officials have generally waited hours to confirm rescues.

"All eight are in good health, no fever. everyone is in a good mental state", Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the public health ministry, told reporters Tuesday at Chiang Rai hospital where the boys were recuperating.

Elite divers hauled four more young footballers out of a flooded Thai cave on Monday, authorities said, bringing to eight the number saved in a stunning rescue mission but still leaving five others trapped.

Graphic: The Thai cave complex where four boys and their soccer coach remain trapped is expansive, stretching about 10 km.

Thailand has been riveted by the dramatic rescue mission to save the "Wild Boars" team after they first became trapped in Tham Luang more than two weeks ago by rising flood waters.


Local governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said Tuesday's rescue operation began just after 10am local time and involves 19 divers.

The head of the operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn, said earlier the final operation would be "more challenging" because one more survivor would be brought out, along with three Navy Seals who have been accompanying them.

The eight boys who've been rescued so far have all swum out of the cave, each escorted by two expert divers.

While the boys are in good health, two may have mild lung infection.

Some family members have been allowed to visit the boys in hospital, but are only allowed to observe them from behind a glass window.

He left after a decade to care for his ailing grandmother and began coaching youth soccer at the Mae Sai Prasitsart school in Chiang Rai province, near the Burmese border.

Heavy rains lashed the northern Thai region late Monday and a steady downpour has continued Tuesday. "Their plan is designed for rescuing four". They were also able to talk on the phone.

The third and hopefully final rescue mission is now underway.

Monday's rescue mission, which saw four boys extracted before dusk and whisked to Chiang Rai hospital, took around nine hours.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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