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Experts warn rescue of boys from flooded Thai cave may take weeks

03 July 2018, 12:24 | Pamela Mathis

Experts warn rescue of boys from flooded Thai cave may take weeks

Experts warn rescue of boys from flooded Thai cave may take weeks

A still from footage released by The Royal Thai Navy shows the moment the group of missing boys were finally found by British divers inside the Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand.

After the boys were found, the question moved to getting them out through the underwater cave system, as they are about 2.5 miles from the entrance.

Reymenants said that the lion's share of the credit should go to the Thai special operations soldiers. Chinese rescues team members talk near a cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing, in Mae Sai, Chiang R. Rescuers make their way down at the entrance to a cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing, in Mae Sai, .

Aisha Wiboonrungrueng, the mother of 11-year-old Chanin Wiboonrungrueng, smiled and hugged her family as news of their discovery spread.

Journalists smile as they try to interview a military officer near the Tham Luang cave complex, as news broke that members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach have been found alive. The respite from the rain also gave rescuers confidence to push forward in an area of the subterranean labyrinth they had hoped the boys and their coach were waiting to be saved. They are seen wearing the same clothing they had on the morning they disappeared.

"You have been here for 10 days, you are very strong", one of the divers tells the boys. The boys, anxious to to leave the cave, asked when they would be going "outside", to which the diver responded, "No, not today".

Twelve young footballers and their assistant coach survived being trapped for 10 days in Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai by minimizing their movements and drinking water that dripped from limestone.

"[We will] prepare to send additional food to be sustained for at least four months and train all 13 to dive while continuing to drain the water", Navy Captain Anand Surawan said, according to a statement from Thailand's Armed Forces.

"However we are members of the BCRC and as they do not have a facebook page so we will be sure to pass along all your thanks and good wishes!"

In the tape of the encounter, one of the British rescuers asks, in English, how many were in the group.

"Supplying them on site may face challenges depending on how hard the dives are". "They've got some medical doctors who are also divers, who are ready to get into the caves".

He described taking non-divers through a cave as "one of the most unsafe situations possible, even if the dives are relatively easy".

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"They'll be assessed for hydration status, adequate fuel supply, adequate food so that their glucose level is adequate, and then no doubt they'll do practice dives", he added.

Thailand's prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has thanked the worldwide experts who assisted in the search.

Mr Narongsak said the passageway the divers were making their way through goes upwards in some places and downwards in others and is extremely narrow, making it hard for divers to fit through with all their gear.

Divers had been trying to reach a section of the cave called "Pattaya Beach" for days, making painstaking advances in the dark, flooded cave and at times being forced to retreat by rising waters.

Divers located the group in a chamber on higher ground deep inside the partially flooded cave.

Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn Osatanakorn told reporters Monday that progress had been made in opening and maintaining the narrow channels used by rescuers.

Other efforts have focused on finding shafts on the mountainside that might serve as a back door to the blocked-off areas where the missing may be sheltering.

Experts in cave rescues from around the world continued to gather at the site.

The group's plight has gripped the country and led to an outpouring of support.

If it goes down through, we will be very lucky, ' the Chiang Rai governor said.

"I think in truth even the families of the missing boys and their coach would say that this is astonishing news", said Holland.



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