Friday, 20 July, 2018

Thai cave rescue: All 12 boys and soccer coach freed

Coach Ekkapol Chantawong has fought malnutrition and exhaustion to keep caring for his beloved Wild Boar boys soccer team Coach Ekkapol Chantawong has fought malnutrition and exhaustion to keep caring for his beloved Wild Boar boys soccer team
Jeannette Daniel | 11 July, 2018, 06:30

A total of eight boys have now been brought out of the cave complex.

The first boy to emerge from the cave complex on Monday was seen on a stretcher just before 4:30 pm local time.

A few days of relatively clear weather has allowed them to pump enough water out of the cave to allow the boys to walk through some sections. All have now been transferred to hospital.

Two of the boys had suspected lung infections but the four boys from the first group rescued were all walking around in the hospital.

After pondering for days how to get the 13 out, a rescue operation was launched on Sunday when four of the boys were brought out, tethered to rescue divers. The route, in some places just a crawl space, had oxygen canisters positioned at regular intervals to refresh each team's air supply. But a short period of less heavy rainfall this week made the rescue mission possible.

It's been more than two weeks since the 12 boys and their soccer coach became trapped in the flooded Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai.

After spending nine days in darkness they were found by two British divers, but it took another week to devise a plan to get them out through a four-kilometer long labyrinth of flooded tunnels.

Since the operation started, the area outside the cave's entrance has filled with media, volunteers and onlookers.


Rescue workers and divers are using the break to rest and prepare for the next phase of the grueling operation, which Osotthanakorn said involves some of the hardest diving in the world.

Highlighting the dangers, a former Thai Navy SEAL died Friday while replenishing the canisters.

Pure Flix Entertainment is seeking the movie rights about the mission to rescue a dozen boys and their soccer coach who were trapped deep within a labyrinth.

Twelve boys and their football coach who were trapped in a cave in northern Thailand for more than a fortnight have been rescued in an unprecedented three-day mission that had all the features of a blockbuster film.

The boys remain in quarantine but some of their parents have been able to see their children through the glass.

However, another official, Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, inspector general of the public health ministry, said initial blood tests "showed signs of infection".

Named "Wild Boar" after the stranded youth soccer team, the mini-submarine arrived at the cave Monday morning (July 9).

A nutritionist is monitoring their diet and has recommended that they eat nothing spicy or salty - despite the boys' cravings for spicy basil pork and rice, and grilled pork.

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