Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Eight boys rescued from cave in northern Thailand

Divers rescue fifth boy from flooded Thailand cave Eight boys rescued from cave in northern Thailand
Julia Gonzales | 11 July, 2018, 02:03

Each operation has taken at least nine hours.

An elite team of Thai Navy SEALs and foreign rescue divers on Tuesday began what they hoped would be a final push to rescue four boys and their soccer coach from a cave near the Thai-Myanmar border after extracting eight others through a labyrinth of tight passages. A former Thai Navy diver lost his life while on a re-supply mission inside the cave to support the rescue.

The boys and their soccer coach as they were found in a dark, partially flooded cave, in Mae Sai, on July 2 after 10 days totally cut off from the outside world. He added that the movie will center around the two British divers who stumbled across the trapped soccer team after days of searching.

"Miracles may happen every day but this is one for the ages", said Cornell Brooks, chief executive of the NAACP civil rights group in the United States. The cave where the group went missing stretches nearly ten kilometers, it has several entrances and exits, as well as large chambers, where the group members found shelter from the rising waters caused by a rainy season downpour.

This is the third mission that has been undertaken by the Thai authorities in order to rescue the young boys, who became trapped in the cave by rising floodwater several weeks ago.

Four more of the boys were carried on stretchers out of the labyrinthine Tham Luang cave on the Myanmar border at dusk on Monday, bringing to eight the number brought out after two rescue pushes on successive days.

The world's media is now stationed 3km from the cave entrance.

Rescuers are racing to remove the remaining five members of the Wild Boar soccer team from the cave before the return of heavy monsoon rains.

All the rescued are expected to be taken to the hospital soon.

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The Seals said they are still waiting for a medic and three navy Seals who stayed with the boys to emerge from the cave.

Officials have not been commenting on the rescue mission as it has been taking place, so it was not clear who had been brought out on Tuesday or what condition they were in.

On June 23, national park staff found a motorbike, bicycles and sports equipment near a cave entrance and contacted a local football club, which confirmed that those things belonged to 12 kids aged between 11 and 16 years and their 25-year-old coach. In a risky operation led by the Thai navy Seals, an global team managed to get the boys through a complicated and often narrow exit route.

Hours after the rescue was confirmed, President Trump tweeted his congratulations, adding, "Such a lovely moment - all freed, great job!"

Rescue workers and divers are using the break to rest and prepare for the next phase of the grueling operation, which Osotthanakorn said involves some of the hardest diving in the world. "Such a attractive moment - all freed, great job!" he wrote. Four boys were retrieved one at a time through the cave by two divers.

A retired Thai navy SEAL died Friday after he ran out of oxygen while placing compressed-air tanks along the exit route.

Jesada Chokdumrongsuk said that the boys are "healthy and smiling", he added: "the kids are footballers so they have high immune systems". However, doctors treating the boys said it was too soon for them to make the trip. They were all treated for rabies - in case there were bats in the cave - as well as tetanus, and they were given IV drips. "When I visited them, I also told them to be good citizens". But he added they can not yet have the spicy treats that many Thais like to eat.

The boys remain in quarantine but some of their parents have been able to see their children through the glass.

An ambulance transporting alleged members of the children's football team approaches the hospital in the northern Thai city of Chiang Rai on July 10, 2018 after being rescued in Tham Luang cave.

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