Friday, 21 September, 2018


Elon Musk's Submarine Not Practical for Mission, Says Head of Ops

Police and military personnel use umbrellas to cover around a stretcher near the rescue Modal Trigger Police and military personnel use umbrellas to shield a stretcher near the rescue. AFP Getty Images
Bennie Garza | 10 July, 2018, 12:45

But rescue officials were also anxious about dwindling oxygen levels in the cave.

The team's 25-year-old coach and four boys are still deep inside the flooded and sprawling cave.

Families of the first four have been able to see their children through a glass window, Chokedamrongsook said.

About 0.6 miles (960 metres) of the journey on Sunday was believed to be underwater, requiring the boys to wear full face masks, Business Insider's Alexandra Ma reported.

Today's rescue mission began at around 10 a.m. local time.

Four more boys were pulled from the cave that day - the first emerging before 5 p.m.

They are still being quarantined from their parents because of the risk of infection and would likely be kept in hospital for a week to undergo tests, officials said.

He was taken by helicopter and ambulance to the same hospital in Chiang Rai where the first four boys rescued Sunday by a team of worldwide and Thai dive experts are being treated. "For safety, the best number is four". Divers escorted the children, who wore equipment to help them breathe.

The 12 boys, all part of a youth soccer team known as the Wild Boars, first went missing with their coach more than two weeks ago. But bursts of monsoon rain caused the water inside the cave to rise, leaving them trapped. After they were found on July 2, officials cautioned it could take some time to get them out, but authorities made a decision to act with heavy rains forecast to hit the region.

The saga has dominated global headlines, with the team spending 9 days unaccounted for inside the cave, before British divers found the emaciated and dishevelled group huddling on a muddy bank above the flooding.

The painstaking rescue has required breaks to allow the group of 18 elite divers to rest and replenish the cave with oxygen for the remaining soccer team members, ABC News reports.

The extreme danger of the rescue effort was underscored last week when a former Thai navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, died while placing oxygen tanks deep inside the cave. "His determination and good intention will always be in the heart of all SEAL brothers".

Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osottanakorn said Saturday that mild weather and falling water levels in recent days had created the "perfect" conditions for an underwater evacuation. He asked for three more days to complete the rescue mission.

Musk tweeted: "Just returned from Cave 3". His rocket company SpaceX has developed a "tiny, kid-size submarine" to help with the rescue and Musk said it was "ready if needed".

The mission chief told reporters: "They are well and happy".

On Monday, family members told CNN officials hadn't revealed which children had been rescued and who was still inside the cave Families had vowed to wait at the cave entrance until all of the boys, and their coach, were taken out.

Two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said. They did get a treat, however: bread with chocolate spread that they'd requested. All are eating easily digestible food. The boys will be hospitalized for at least a week.

Each operation has taken at least nine hours.

Divers have gone in for the second rescue attempt, Thai officials said.

The plan is "set for four people", Osatanakorn said.

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