Saturday, 20 October, 2018


Kids rescued from Thai cave

Asia News Network Asia News Network
Bennie Garza | 03 July, 2018, 03:44

For nine days, Rawimon Mongkoltanakul has been handing out cup noodles and energy drinks to soldiers, monks, government officials and others who joined what - at times - seemed like a hopeless effort to rescue 12 boys and their coach trapped deep inside a cave in northern Thailand.

The boys, aged between 11 and 16, went missing with the 25-year-old after soccer practice on June 23 after they set out to explore the Tham Luang cave complex in a forest park near by the border with Myanmar.

The rescue teams have been working against relentless rains that hindered their every move - pumping the water out of a cave system is nearly impossible when it is actively flooding again.

The video then details questions asked by the boys, including when they will be rescued.

"Thai navy seals have found all 13 with signs of life", Narongsak Osatanakorn told reporters.

But attention now turns to the hard task of now getting the boys out safely.

Elite Royal Thai Navy Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) members, nicknamed the Seals, are in the cave searching for the boys, armed with compressed air tanks and carrying food.

"One medic stayed behind with them", Reymenants explained.

Heavy rains continue, sparking fears that floodwaters within the cave could rise. They've possibly been lying still for days now.

What's it like inside the cave?

At 10 kilometers long, Tham Luang cave is one of Thailand's longest and one of the toughest to navigate, with its snaking chambers and narrow passageways.

Its up-and-down tunnels provide plenty of low points for floodwaters to pool, and its claustrophobic passageways are nearly impossible to find once submerged.

They still have to be extracted from the caves, and are reportedly "too week to move".

There are few openings to the cave and few light sources, so without head torches conditions inside would be pitch black.

"Now the difficulty is getting them out because they are underground within this massive cave complex".

A miracle, finally: the 12 boys and their coach are found alive and safe about 400 metres further along from Pattaya Beach - which had become threatened by encroaching flood waters.

There are several options, though none of them easy.

"Worst case scenario is that they have to dive them out".

Rescuers said they believed the boys could stay alive by drinking fresh water in the cave, either dripping in through rocks or rushing in through the entrance.

Waiting for flooding to subside is another option that could allow the boys to get out on foot.

It is believed Mr Volanthen and Mr Stanton are part of the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team and helped rescue a trapped diver in France in 2010.

They were discovered by naval special forces, he said.

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