Thai cave rescue sees four more boys freed

Jo Caldwell
July 10, 2018

The hoped-for final chapter in an ordeal that has gripped the world comes after elite foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALs escorted eight members of the "Wild Boars" football team out of the claustrophobic network of tunnels on Sunday and Monday.

Four more of the boys were carried on stretchers out of the labyrinthine Tham Luang cave on the Myanmar border at dusk on Monday, bringing to eight the number brought out so far after two rescue pushes on successive days.

Four of the boys were safely rescued on Sunday after rescuers carried out a risky operation, amid fears the waters will rise again to a unsafe level.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has also been lending a helping hand to the rescue effort.

On Tuesday, the four children and their 25-year-old soccer coach still in the cave, rescue mission head Narongsak Osotthanakorn told reporters Musk's submarine was appreciated but not practical.

Officials said late Sunday they'd need to pause the operation for at least 10 hours to fill oxygen tanks that had been depleted during the first phase of the rescue mission. They'll also be bringing back 3 Navy SEALS and a medic who have been in the cave with the team since the first day of the rescue efforts.

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Initial euphoria over finding the boys alive quickly turned into deep anxiety as rescuers struggled to find a way to get them out. The world has watched and waited for days as rescue teams attempted to get the boys out of a cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand .

On Twitter, Musk has mused about potential inventions that could help the trapped soccer team, including a miniature submarine made from part of a SpaceX rocket.

Headcam footage shows the treacherous path the rescuers must navigate in order to retrieve the stranded school boys and their coach.

While the first group to be rescued has been reunited with their parents, officials said they had to meet from a distance ― "through glass".

Rescue operations chief Narongsak Osottanakorn says the boys are not ready to dive to safety.

Four more members of a youth soccer team were pulled from a flooded cave in a second round of rescue operations in Thailand on Monday.

Because of the heavy rains, which eventually eased in the afternoon, Narongsak said the decision had been taken to "not to waste time ... for the third planned mission".

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The unsafe underwater rescues - considered a last resort - involve two divers accompanying each of the boys, none of whom had experience diving before they were found on July 2.

The Thai soccer team ventured into the Tham Luang cave complex after practice and became trapped by rising waters more than a fortnight ago.

"If everything goes right, we will see four kids and a doctor and three Seals that have stayed with the kids will all come out", he said.

So the challenge for the children lies in keeping in keeping calm while remembering the minutiae of a new skill, Foisey said.

"For the second lot of patients arriving last night, whose ages range from 12-14, they arrived with very low body temperature, and one of them had a low heart rate", he said. They eventually found a dry landing spot, where they waited for nine days before being found by two British divers.

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