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Thai navy SEAL divers advance in Thai cave passageway
02 July 2018, 04:13 | Darnell Patrick
Linh Pham Getty Images
Royal Thai Navy Seal divers, who searched three miles of flooded caves, have not found any bodies or clothing and last night it was thought the boys may have reached an underground safety spot called Pattaya Beach.
"They should be okay without food for eight days", he said. Though this is not the first natural chimney found on Pha Mee, it remains the most promising, according to search and rescue teams on site.
British cave-diver Richard William Stanton walks out from Tham Luang Nang Non cave as rescuers battled heavy rain in northern Thailand. "Water has receded considerably and we are pumping out water in all chambers (near the entrance)", Narongsak told reporters. But, he said the group's survival depended on whether they found fresh drinking water - which, too, could pose the risk of infection. Gen. Bancha Duriyapat, said that authorities remain hopeful.
Officials said tourists have been trapped in the cave and rescued in the past.
The dramatic week-long rescue has galvanised the nation and prompted emotional outpourings online from well-wishers praying for their safe return. "Today we aim to have 600 air cylinders in the cave, so the team can operate and stay in the cave without coming out", he said. An official Australian group has now followed a US military team, British cave experts, Chinese lifesaving responders and several other volunteer groups from various countries.
James Wang, a member of the Chinese rescue team Green Boat Emergency Organisation, believed they could help with the operation.
Hopes were also high for finding some kind of access through fissures on the mountainside that might lead to shafts into the cave.
On Saturday, it was announced six Australian Federal Police and Defence Force personnel had been deployed to Thailand to aid in the search and rescue. One team was drilling into a 40-metre chimney that led to a muddy chamber.
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The 12 Thai boys, aged between 11 and 16, with their 25-year-old coach went missing in the cave in Chiang Rai province since June 23.
But there was still no indication it linked to the main cave complex.
"We have the skill to the rescue cave and the skill of SRT, single rope technology".
The labyrinth is popular with tourists and for the first kilometer (0.6 miles) or so inside the cavernous entrance, limestone rock formations hug high ceilings, creating an nearly amphitheater-like atmosphere. "We would have to drill in deeper to get to the source, but at least we found it".
At 10km, Tham Luang is one of Thailand's longest and toughest caves to navigate, but drilling experts hope its limestone formations could make a series of holes and alternative entrances explorable by camera.
Stone-faced relatives kept vigil under a makeshift tent near shrines where monks are leading prayers near shrines overflowing with offerings.
Rescuers discovered footprints and handprints in a chamber earlier in the week, farther in from where they recovered the kids' football boots, backpacks and bicycles.
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