Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Thai Cave Rescue Is Likely To Take "Months" According To Experts

Divers cling to hope of finding lost Thai boys Thailand: Divers move further into dark, flooded caves to rescue 12 boys missing for eight days
Eugene Bates | 04 July, 2018, 01:30

Cave diver Ben Reymenants, part of the team assisting the rescue effort, told NBC's "Today" show that he was "very surprised obviously that they are all alive and actually mentally also healthy".

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.

"Not today. Not today", the divers told them. The system is 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long, and one of the most hard cave systems to navigate due to narrow passages and winding tunnels.

Twelve boys and their football coach trapped in a Thai cave are alive, but will need to learn to dive or wait months for flooding to recede before they can get out, the army says.

The Prime Minister's Office says Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha "wishes to thank the tremendous efforts of all global units that have come to assist the Thai authorities in rescuing the youth football team that was stuck in the caves in Chiang Rai".

Aged between 11 and 16, the boys 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 Thailand's northern border with Myanmar.

One child asks "what day?" and another says "we are hungry. shall we go outside?" "You are very strong". "They really did the final prep work to find them".

Despite the success of the operation, Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said there were still challenges ahead in bringing them out of the flooded cave.

Police and military personnal from Australia were deployed to the northern Thai province of Chiang Rai on Saturday to help locate the boys and their coach who went into the cave last Saturday. The group was discovered by British divers Richard Stanton and John Volanthen about 400 m (440 yds) beyond a chamber nicknamed Pattaya Beach.

Authorities said efforts would continue outside the cave, where teams have been scouring the mountainside for other entrances to the caverns.

Rising water had obstructed rescue operations and Royal Thai Navy SEAL divers struggled to move further into the cave complex, which is thought to be about 6-8km long and contains several large chambers.

Teams have also been working to pump water out of the cave and divert groundwater, while other rescuers focused on exploring shafts above ground that might lead into the cave. Engineers have been pumping water out of the cave, but more precipitation is expected as the rainy season hits the area. Many, many people. We're the first.

"They should be okay without food for eight days", said Dr Somsak Akkasilp, the director-general of the Medical Services Department.

Experts said it could take weeks - if not months - to get them out with much of the cave still submerged by floods.

Cochrane said thousands of soldiers have been scouring the mountain looking for ventilation shafts that could provide a back door to the cave.

Australian police and military personnel were deployed Saturday to join other multinational teams, including US military personnel and experts from a British cave exploration club.

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