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Thai cave rescue: Operation resumes for remaining 9 who are trapped

09 July, 2018, 08:33 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • CNNThe 12 boys and their football coach have been stuck in the cave since June 23

Two members of the trapped boys' soccer team have been rescued from a cave in northern Thailand, local officials say.

The operation to rescue the remaining eight boys - some as young as 11 and weak swimmers - and the coach was called off at nightfall until Monday to give the divers time to replenish oxygen supplies and ensure all preparations were complete. Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said two divers will accompany each boy as they are led out of the cave. But, their conditions are unknown. "They have not been moved to Chiang Rai hospital yet".

The rescue teams now needed at least 10 hours to prepare for their next operation, involving about 90 divers in total, 50 of them from foreign countries, he said.

"It's unsafe to the most experienced divers to go through", said one diver who spoke to Reuters. Light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps.

A source at the hospital said five emergency response doctors were waiting for the party and a further 30 doctors were on stand-by, adding that everyone was feeling tense.

"Today is the D-Day for the rescuers", said Narongsak Osottanakorn, the outgoing governor of Chiang Rai province.

Finnish volunteer diver Mikko Paasi, a long-term resident of Thailand, said the death of the Thai Navy SEAL had changed the mood on the ground and made real for rescuers just how unsafe the mission had become.

Thank you for signing up for the Brightside Blend Newsletter. The families of the youths had been informed of the plan, he said.

"The meaning of readiness is...ideal weather, water and the kids' readiness, physical and mentally".

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"There is no other day that we are more ready than today", he said.

It is not yet known whether the boys swum out, or if they were sedated and delivered by the rescuers.

Relatives of the missing boys show photos of them after the 12 boys and their soccer coach have been found alive in the cave where they've been missing for over a week after monsoon rains blocked the main entrance on July 02, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Depending on weather and water conditions, the entire operation to get all 13 members of the team out of the cave could last two to four days, according to army Maj.

"If something changes, we'll stop", he said.

In any case, it's instructive to see how the crowdsourced engineering exercise unfolded over the course of just a couple of days.

Thailand's Meteorological Department said there was a 60 percent chance of rain Monday with thunderstorms forecast throughout the week. One of the boys, identified as Tun, wrote: "Mom and Dad, please don't worry, I am fine".

The rescue operation is racing time and the weather during Thailand's rainy season. "Night loves Dad and Mom and brother, don't worry about me".

"They are all of our students, all of our friends, all of our children", she said. Two more to follow close behind. "We're under a lot of pressure", she said, declining to be named because she was not allowed to speak to the media.

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