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Trapped footballers in Thailand cave survived by lying still, drinking dripping water

03 July, 2018, 12:27 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Divers cling to hope of finding lost Thai boys

Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said: "We worked so hard to find them and we will not lose them".

Reymenants said that the lion's share of the credit should go to the Thai special operations soldiers.

Family members greeted the news with relief and tears of happiness, punching the air when they heard that their boys were alive.

Aisha Wiboonrungrueng's 11-year-old son, Chanin Wiboonrungrueng, was among rescued.

The children, who are aged between 11 and 16, had become trapped in the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai after heavy rain triggered a flash flood that prevented them escaping through a narrow tunnel.

Family members smile after hearing the news that the missing 12 boys and their soccer coach have been found, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, Monday, July 2, 2018.

The South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team declined to comment on the rescue while the BCRC said it does not name the cavers it sends on operations to "allow them to get on with their hard task without distraction".

Narongsak said officials had met and agreed on the need to "ensure 100 percent safety for the boys when we bring them out".

The harrowing task of getting the boys out is complicated by the fact that they are in a weak state and are not experienced divers. They are clad in the kits they apparently were wearing on the morning they disappeared in the cave.

"You have been here for 10 days, you are very strong", one of the divers tells the boys.

One boy asks when they will get out, to which the rescuer answers: "Not today". First, however, authorities are determining how best to get the team medical assistance and food, provided they can eat after not having anything for 10 days. "We will bring food to them and a doctor who can dive".

Then the boy breaks into simple English, saying, "Eat, eat, eat", to which another voice responds in Thai that he already told that to the rescuer.

A leading American cave rescue expert said many challenges are ahead for the rescue divers.

He said supplying them on site "may face challenges depending on how hard the dives are".

He says that "if the dives are hard then supply will be hard, but the risk of trying to dive them out is also exponentially greater".

"Trying to take non-divers through a cave is one of the most risky situations possible, even if the dives are relatively easy", he said.

"They'll be assessed for hydration status, adequate fuel supply, adequate food so that their glucose level is adequate, and then no doubt they'll do practice dives", he added.

Thailand's prime minister on Monday evening thanked the worldwide experts and rescuers. "The Royal Thai Government and the Thai people are grateful for this support and co-operation, and we all wish the team a safe and speedy recovery".

Worldwide rescue teams - which includes the Thai Navy SEALs as well as experts from the US, China, Australia and the United Kingdom - had been working to reach a large, deep chamber, informally known as Pattaya Beach, where the missing boys were believed to have taken refuge.

Gov. Narongsak had said earlier the passageway goes upward in some places and downward in others and is very narrow, making it hard for divers and their gear to fit through.

Divers have been stymied repeatedly by rising water that has filled sections of the cave and forced them to withdraw for safety reasons.

The SEALs' Facebook page said that since Sunday night, the divers had reached a bend where the kilometer-long (half-mile) passage splits in two directions.

"Getting back from this area in the caves and back to the mouth of the caves is going to be very, very tricky indeed, because the divers have only managed to reach the Pattaya Beach area because they are skilled". A rescuer makes his way down muddy steps past water pump hoses at the entrance to a cave complex where 12 soccer team members.



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