Missing Boys Soccer Team Found Alive in Cave

Jo Caldwell
July 4, 2018

Rescue divers had spent much of Monday making preparations for a final push to locate the lost soccer players, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach.

"We are trying to get the kids and parents in touch, then a lot of pressure will be relieved", an army spokesman said on Wednesday.

Experts had initially said that the schoolboys may have to survive in the Thamg Luang cave network until the monsoon seasons ends in August. The water in the cave is expected to rise.

Several divers, including a doctor and a nurse, have since yesterday been with the group inside the cave. But the floodwaters cut off their path of escape.

According to the Bangkok Post, none of the boys know how to swim, so they've got hurdles to overcome before strapping an oxygen tank to their backs. Officials are considering giving all 13 of them a crash course in cave diving so that they can swim through flooded passages.

There is no simple way to save the trapped team. There is no sign that the efforts have lowered water levels to a point that would allow an extraction on foot.

"The choice is to try and take the risk that the cave won't fill completely and give them supplies to sit it out where they were until the water drains out for them to be able to walk out in two or three months", Whitestone said.

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Rescuers have set up an underground headquarters for the rescue operation, which has been stocked with diving equipment, food and medical supplies.

"They are all safe but the mission is not completed", Narongsak Osottanakorn, Chiang Rai governor, explained to the media.

The group had entered the cave in northern Thailand on June 23 before flooding cut off the main entrance. Not to mention the fact that drilling into a cave where thirteen people are now huddled on a small island is, you know, kinda risky! Engineers there eventually drilled a vertical hole to reach their chamber, and all the miners were pulled to the surface one by one while a global audience watched on live television.

A Thai provincial governor says all 12 boys and their coach have been found alive in the cave where they went missing over a week ago in northern Thailand.

Two Thai navy doctors have offered to bunk with the boys - and a large food supply - for the entire time, Reymenants said.

Osatanakorn said the 13 people have all had an "informal" medical evaluation inside the cave and most are in stable condition and none are in critical condition. The idea is to send experienced cave divers in to teach the boys how to dive themselves. "10 days. You are very strong".

"Although water levels have dropped", says the British Cave Rescue Council, the volunteer divers' small charity organization, "the diving conditions remain hard and any attempt to dive the boys and their coach out will not be taken lightly because there are significant technical challenges and risks to consider". The boys are also again asking how soon food is coming.

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The rugged and flooded kilometers-long course toward the entrance takes a healthy SEAL diver six hours.

"The British divers Rick and John were at the spearhead" of the forward search party, said Mr Bill Whitehouse of the British Cave Rescue Council, an informal grouping of rescue teams around Britain.

The boys repeatedly tell them, in Thai, that they're hungry and need food.

A rescued Chilean miner has advice for a trapped Thai boys soccer team half a world away: Help each other and mentally prepare for rescue.

Volanthen, an IT consultant in his 40s, told the Sunday Times in 2013 that the secret to cave diving was keeping a cool head.

'Panic and adrenaline are great in certain situations but not in cave-diving. "The last thing you want is any adrenaline whatsoever".

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