Elon Musk shares video of 'kid-size' submarine for Thai cave rescue

09 July, 2018, 12:57 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Rescue workers along the main road leading to Tham Luang Nang Non cave

The operation to rescue the boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach by having them dive out of the flooded cave began Sunday morning, with expert divers entering the sprawling complex for the complicated and risky mission.

After considering a "bouncy castle" air tube that the kids might be able to wriggle through to safety, Musk and his team settled on the idea of building a kid-sized submarine, equipped with external air tanks.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said her expectation was that four more boys would be rescued on Monday. Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents were told by rescuers ahead of Sunday's operation the "strongest children" would be brought out first.

Thai authorities told media today to leave a camp site near the cave where 12 boys and their coach have been trapped for more than two weeks so that "victims" could be helped, possibly signalling a long-awaited rescue effort to get them out.

On July 4, Thai navy SEALS released video of the boys who appeared to be in good spirits despite the harrowing conditions.

According to the Associated Press, Thai officials said the healthiest boys have been taken out of the cave first.

Some officials initially said that the boys could remain where they were - on a dry rock ledge near a point inside the cave known as Pattaya Beach - for up to several months as long as they were supplied with food and medicines.

But for many in Thailand, Ekapol, who left his life in the monkhood three years ago and joined the Wild Boars as an assistant coach soon after, is an nearly divine force, sent to protect the boys as they go through this ordeal.

There's been no shortage of warnings in recent days about how risky the rescue attempt is - not least the death of former Thai Navy Sgt. Saman Kunan, an ex-SEAL, who died early Friday morning due to a lack of air while attempting to return to a command center deep underground.

Known for his ambition and sometimes insane ideas, Musk promised to develop a submarine to aid in rescuing the boys.

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Last week Musk said he was sending teams to Thailand from his private space exploration firm, SpaceX, and engineering firm, Boring Co. which is developing tunneling systems for transport projects.

The two spent time looking for sponsors and used the team to prove to the boys they could become something more than their small town would suggest - even professional athletes.

Officials wouldn't say how much diving the boys would be required to do in the rescue operation.

The potential for rising water and the dwindling oxygen levels added to the urgency of getting the team out.

Narongsak said efforts to remove floodwater and divert water flows have been "very successful", but seasonal monsoon rains are forecast to hit the region this weekend and throughout next week.

The acting Chiang Rai governor has told reporters "today is D-Day" with 13 foreigner and five Thai divers taking part in the rescue.

As with the recovery of his friends' body, Dr Harris has been described as "essential" to a rescue mission to save a young Thai soccer team from their cave prison.

One of the boys, identified as Tun, wrote: "Mom and Dad, please don't worry, I am fine".

An accompanying video of people testing the submarine in a swimming pool in Los Angeles that was posted overnight Sunday attracted more than 3.1 million views in 10 hours.

"I confirmed the factors [affecting the mission] are as good as yesterday".

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