Eight boys rescued from flooded Thai caves, now up to 'rain god'

12 July, 2018, 09:51 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha poses with relatives of boys trapped in a flooded cave in Chiang Rai on July 9. REUTERS

Typically people would learn to scuba dive before embarking on a more technically challenging cave dive like the one involved in the rescue effort, said Chris Foisey, a St. Catharines, Ont. -based scuba instructor with experience diving through underwater tunnels.

All eight boys rescued so far after spending two weeks trapped in a Thai cave are in good health overall and the first four rescued boys are eating well, Thailand's health ministry permanent secretary said on Tuesday.

An global team of rescuers has been in Thailand since the discovery of the stranded football team and their coach, assisting the Thai Navy SEALs in their rescue efforts.

The saga has dominated global headlines, with the team spending nine days unaccounted for inside the cave, before British divers found them - emaciated and dishevelled - huddling on a muddy bank above the flooding.

The rest four boys and their coach that are still trapped in the cave will be pulled out in a final mission that has resumed on Tuesday.

The ninth boy was carried from the cave on a stretcher shortly AFTER 11:00 SAST, Reuters and CNN reported.

'The equipment they brought to help us is not practical with our mission'.

Officials lavished praise on the Thai and global divers who, in pairs of two, executed the risky rescue mission, guiding the boys, who could barely swim and had no diving experience, through a treacherous 4-kilometer-long (2 1/2-mile) escape route that twisted and turned through the cavern.

The eight boys who've been rescued so far have all swum out of the cave, each escorted by two expert divers.

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

Rescue personnel in the Tham Luang cave complex during a mission to evacuate the remaining people trapped inside.

But the death of a former Thai Navy SEAL diver who ran out of oxygen in the cave on Friday underscored the danger of the journey.

He wrote in a tweet posted this morning: "Mini-sub is ready if needed".

The rescued boys are now recovering in hospital, worldwide media including the BBC report.

Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit make up the main team guiding the boys to safety. Doctors were being cautious because of the infection risk and were isolating the boys in the hospital.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents had been told by rescuers that the "strongest children" would be brought out first.

"Today we hope it can be done within the same time or faster", said Mr Narongsak, now the governor of nearby Phayao province.

It could be at least seven days before they can be released from hospital, Jesada said.

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