Cave rescue to start if heavy rains begin

07 July, 2018, 09:40 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Thailand Cave Rescue: Crews Race to Pump Out Water to Extract Soccer Team Ahead of Expected Rain

Federation Internationale de Football Association says it will invite the 12 boys and their coach stuck in Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai to the 2018 World Cup final in Moscow if they are successfully extracted and are strong enough.

The young coach of the boys' football team that has been trapped for two weeks inside a Thailand cave has offered his "apologies to the parents" in a note released by the Thai Navy.

Thai officials had been suggesting in public statements that a quick underwater evacuation of the boys and their coach was needed because of the possibility that access to the cave could soon close again due to seasonal monsoon rains expected this weekend.

Narongsak said experts, who themselves have made the hard journey, were teaching them the rudiments of diving, but that the boys were not yet capable of an arduous and complicated mission.

Rescue teams have been pumping millions of liters of water from the cave in an attempt to lower water levels to the extent that the boys can simply walk out.

But one of those experienced divers, an ex-Thai navy diver, died during the rescue operations after running out of oxygen himself, proving how hard said rescue will be. The path out is considered especially complicated because of twists and turns in some narrow flooded passages.

The Thai boys trapped in a cave for two weeks have written letters to their parents, saying "don't worry. we are all strong".

Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osatanakorn announced on Monday that the boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach were being rescued from Tham Luang Nang Non cave after they were discovered by naval special forces and the challenge now will be to extract the party safely. The way out is a hard dive with many narrow passages through muddy water.

The journey from outside to where the boys are stuck takes about six hours, according to The New York Times.

Still, the team has practiced wearing diving masks and breathing with scuba gear in preparation for a dive.

More than 100 Thai navy SEALs have been working around the clock to retrieve the stranded football team in a race against nature.

The group was found in the cave by British rescue divers 10 days after they went missing. The divers are making frequent swims in and out.

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A huge global operation has been underway for weeks, with dozens of Thai Navy SEALs and worldwide experts on site.

While underwater, the rescuer passed out and efforts to resuscitate him failed, Arpakorn said.

Meanwhile, the Governor also confirmed oxygen tanks were being opened in the cave to replenish the diminishing air supply and that the situation had been stabilised for now.

"Despite this, we will continue until we accomplish our mission", Arpakorn said.

Narongsak acknowledged that the air supply inside the cave is "a big problem".

He added that authorities were working to run an oxygen line to reach the team.

Rescuers have been examining ways to bring the boys out, including fitting them with full-face oxygen masks and accompanying them on a long, unsafe swim through the tunnels.

But light rains Friday morning broke a relatively dry spell around the rescue site, and more rain is forecast in coming days.

A diver who spent time with the boys said earlier the youngsters wanted to know the results of the matches.

Meanwhile, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk tweeted yesterday that engineers from his firms - SpaceX and The Boring Company - were heading to Thailand to see if they could assist in the rescue.

He said it was awkward, but possible, to teach them minimal skills.

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