Thai official says cave boys may have to dive despite danger
Thai official says cave boys may have to dive despite danger
An ethnic Akha woman prays for the return of the missing members of an under-16 football team
04 July, 2018, 01:32
His office said the PM "wishes to thank the tremendous efforts of all global units that have come to assist the Thai authorities in rescuing the youth football team that was stuck in the caves in Chiang Rai".
The divers brought 200 bottles of oxygen to the cave and left them every 25 meters along the tunnel walls so swimmers navigating the muddy pools with nearly no visibility could stay under for longer.
Power and telephone lines are now being installed inside the cave so the missing youths can speak with their parents, Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osotthanakon said. "Brilliant", one of the British rescuers responded as the boys confirmed that all 13 team members were present and accounted for, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy. When they got stuck, members of the Thai Navy and Air Force were called in to locate them in the cave system.
In the video, the boys can be seen huddled on a small ledge above the water. A government official says the group has been found alive.
One boy replies: "Oh".
"The doctor advised that we should provide several kind of medicine to prevent infection and other illness", Osatanakorn said, adding that medics had reached the young footballers.
As the days wore on with the group missing, distraught family members had placed fruit, desserts, sugary drinks and candies on mats near the cave as an offering to the spirits which some people believe protect the cave and the forest.
Search and rescue crews had been trying to locate the 12 boys, ages 11-16, and their soccer coach since they went into the caves after soccer practice on June 23 but were caught inside due to rising flood waters. Heavy rains that flooded cave passages are thought to have trapped them. Other estimates put the boys as far as 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) into the cave.
Rescuers had been focusing on an elevated mound, which cavers have named "Pattaya Beach", in the cave complex's third chamber, knowing that it could have provided the boys with a refuge when rains flooded the cave.
Divers had to navigate a series of sharp, narrow bends in near-darkness.
The next challenge will be getting the group out of the cave, which some have dubbed a "labyrinth".
Rescue teams from the United Kingdom had joined Thai soldiers in hunting for the boys in the Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park. Even if the boys were taught diving skills, taking them out of the cave would still be risky.
But experts have cautioned that taking inexperienced divers through the unsafe corridors of muddy, zero-visibility waters would be very risky.
Attempts are now being made to reduce the risk of over flooding by pumping water from the underground system.
Specially trained doctors will go in to carry out medical checks in the coming days to establish their condition and treat possible injuries.
The Thai military has confirmed that they are preparing for long-term food supplies and diving training for the group. They are setting rescue ropes and gas tanks along the flooded tunnel. Engineers have been pumping water out of the cave, but more precipitation is expected as the rainy season hits the area.
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