The insanely hazardous Thai cave rescue has started well

Charlene Craig
July 11, 2018

Rescue workers in Thailand on Monday brought four boys safely out of a labyrinthine flooded cave complex where a 12-member soccer squad and their coach were trapped for more than two weeks, taking the total number rescued to eight. And the four were taken to the hospital in Chiang Rai as soon as they got out, though their condition isn't known. Then in a statement released late Sunday afternoon, Osatanakorn further revealed that "divers will work with medics in the cave to assess the boys' health before determining who will come out first".

■ While the rescue was expected to take a few days, the first boy came out at 5:40 pm (4:10 pm IST). Medics appeared to remove one person on a stretcher but hid the person's identity behind multiple white umbrellas.

The rescue operation is due to resume at 8am on Monday.

"Four boys have reached chamber three and will walk out of the cave shortly", Lt.

There was scattered rain in the area of the cave on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.

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Narongsak said each boy was outfitted in a full scuba face mask and was escorted by two seasoned divers.

"And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain".

The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach entered the cave to celebrate a birthday.

As the monsoon rains begin, water is being pumped out of the caves and a plan is being developed to bring them to safety. Authorities have said the soccer players are being looked after by Thai navy SEALs, including medics, staying with them inside the cave. After an initial assessment at the site, the plan was to airlift the boys to a makeshift helipad close to the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital, some 70 km away. Relatives were able to see them through a glass partition, the governor said. They became trapped in the cave, a local tourist spot where similar incidents have taken place in the past, when sudden rainfall flooded its entry on June 23.

The rescue mission had called today "D-Day" because the water was at its lowest since the boys were discovered and heavy rains were forecast for later this week, giving them only four days to get all the boys out.

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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 .

Global media have begun minute-by-minute reporting of the operation to save 13 people from Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai. Rescued boys were being taken to a field hospital for medical attention upon extraction. He had said fresh air tanks needed to be laid along the underwater route.

The boys and their soccer coach have been in the cave for over two weeks.

But with some of them unable to swim and having no diving experience, Mr Narongsak had previously dubbed the rescue effort "Mission Impossible".

One former Navy Seal died trying to help rescue 12 boys and their coach who have been trapped in a cave for almost two weeks - highlighting the inherent risks in attempting to move the boys, who are physically weak after days without food and dwindling oxygen supplies.

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