Fresh navy video shows Thai cave boys in good health
04 July, 2018, 14:53 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
Rescuers located 12 boys and their soccer coach alive deep inside a partially flooded cave in northern Thailand late on Monday, more than a week after they went missing, bringing hope in a desperate search that has attracted worldwide help and captivated the nation.
Video released early Tuesday by the Thai navy showed the boys in their soccer uniforms sitting on a dry area inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave above the water as a spotlight from a rescuer illuminated their faces.
Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said Tuesday morning that they used a field assessment in which red is critical condition, yellow is serious condition and green is stable condition. They have found a few "promising" leads and have tried to drill deeper. One flooded area they said was about 5,000 feet long and half of it had no airspace to emerge to if something went wrong underwater.
Despite the peril ahead, families and friends, some of whom have maintained a constant vigil outside the cave, hugged each other and cheered at the news.
Teary-eyed but smiling Aisha Wiboonrunrueng, the mother of one of the missing boys who has been waiting patiently near the cave, told the local media that she would cook her 11-year-old son his favourite food, a Thai fried omelette, when he returned home.
"They shouldn't be ashamed to be scared", he said of the boys. Thai Navy SEAL special forces posted a video of the first encounter in which the British divers told the group they would return with more divers and supplies on Tuesday.
In the 5-minute navy video, the boys are quiet as they sit on their haunches, legs bent in front of them.
But a flash flood trapped them inside the complex along with their 25-year-old coach. "Where are you from?" asked one of the boys and the foreign diver replied, "England". "You have been here 10 days".
"I felt much better after seeing the clips with the children in good spirits, even though they were in there for 10 days".
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.
Anmar Mirza, a leading American cave rescue expert, said many challenges remain for the rescuers.
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.
"Supplying them on site may face challenges depending on how hard the dives are", Mirza, coordinator of the U.S. National Cave Rescue Commission, said in an email.
Officials have said teaching the 12 boys and their coach to dive may be the only way to get them out of the cave, but other options were being explored. The effort drew worldwide help and has riveted Thailand and the world.
Several Navy SEAL divers have deployed along with medics, while the challenging process of evacuating the "Wild Boar" team begins.
The rescuers had been stymied repeatedly by rising water that forced divers to withdraw for safety reasons.
Zalmanov said Maxtech had managed to set up a wireless communication system in "almost no time" upon reaching the site. The group was forced further and further into the labyrinth of tunnels in search of high ground. Right now, huge water pumps are working on draining water out of the cave, but any rainfall can hinder the efforts of the pumps and put the rescue in jeopardy.
Authorities said efforts would also continue outside the cave, where teams have been scouring the mountainside in search of other entrances to the caverns below.
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