September 24, 2018

Thailand cave rescue: How can rescuers free the boys?

03 July 2018, 11:18 | Darnell Patrick

Navy divers search Tham Luang Nang Non on Friday

Navy divers search Tham Luang Nang Non on Friday

Although they have had no shortage of water, one of the boys is heard to say: "Eat, eat, eat, tell them we are hungry".

Global rescue teams from Australia, Britain, United States and China had all joined with Thai Navy seals to find the boys and their coach.

A happy family member showed the latest pictures of the missing boys taken by rescue divers inside Tham Luang cave.

The team had been missing since June 23, when they did not return to their homes from practice. A major search and rescue operation was launched to drain the cave and rescue them.

Here's how the gruelling nine-day search in the 10-kilometre long cave filled with fast-flowing muddy floodwaters unfolded.

Anmar Mirza, a leading American cave rescue expert, told the Associated Press that many risks remain for the rescuers and the group.

Hundreds of soldiers (above), groups and volunteers laboured for a week to supply the forward teams of Royal Thai Navy and foreign divers and cave-exploring experts to finally reach the trapped boys and their coach on Monday.

The mothers and families of the missing boys have held prayer sessions at the entrance to the cave, where there is a shrine with a statue of the Buddha.

Tim White, the Southeast regional coordinator for NCRC, said the cave's relatively warm temperature was probably one of the group's saving graces: If they were in a U.S. cave, with temperatures that can generally drop below 60 degrees, they could have developed fatal cases of hypothermia.

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A massive worldwide rescue effort has been under way since, with rescue teams battling through thick mud and high water to try to reach the group in the cave network that stretches 10 km (6 miles) into a mountain.

Narongsak Osatanakorn said late Monday that the 13 were being rescued.

A military transport helicopter carries a drill machine to be used for the rescue search of missing 12 boys and their soccer.

The boys aged 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach, reportedly entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province more than a week ago.

Gov. Osottanakorn said the rescuers reached the area known as Pattaya Beach where they thought they would find the lost group.

Rescue consultant Pat Moret told CNN that getting the boys out could be a "terrifying experience" for them.

On top of that, Mr Mirza explains you would need to have conducted a survey of the caves and to know them back to front before you could start drilling - otherwise there would be little chance of digging a hole in the correct place for the boys and their coach.

While the aim is to take the boys out of the cave, that depends on the ability of the rescuers to pump water out of the cave and also the health of the children and coach.

"We found them safe".

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