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Thai boys healthy as rescue plans formed

06 July 2018
Thai boys healthy as rescue plans formed

An global team of rescuers, including six Specialist Response Group members of the Australian Federal Police, are helping in the rescue operation.

The boys and their coach had gone on their bikes up to the caves on Saturday 23 June after football practice.

He warns, however, that the rescue attempt is far from over. "So it's a really quite a strenuous environment to be in". There are several air pockets along the way, but the total length of flooded passage is in the region of a kilometer (.6 miles) long. Those considered strong enough to go could do so first, he said. "Can they handle equipment that they have never handled before?"

They are also cooperating with Thai Navy colleagues and the wider global dive teams to stock dive tanks and other equipment throughout the route to aid the eventual evacuation of the isolated cavern.

Cave diving experts noted the key factors that have to be taken into consideration for the rescue: zero visibility given that the water in the cave is silted up, the distance from the cave entrance to the group at 1.9km, and the flow of water in and out of the cave.

Rescue teams are working in extremely hard conditions.

Rescue teams are working in extremely hard conditions.

"This is going to be like hiking and scuba diving for a mile and a half out of the cave".

Can I get up to the surface? The rescuers had to fight a current as they pulled themselves through narrow, flooded passages by gripping the walls.

This she believe helped him and the 12 boys to survive. They will be brought out gradually. And we know that the Thai authorities are looking at possibilities.

'It may be four months, one month or one week.

'We can't risk having the flood back into the cave'. That's nearly the safest place for them to be as opposed to risking diving them out.

Rescuers in Thailand were no closer on Thursday to deciding when and how to extract 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave complex, where they were found this week, pale and weak but otherwise in good health, after nine days lost underground. US and Australian military personnel came to support Thai authorities, as well as technical experts from the U.K., China, Japan and elsewhere.

The video posted on the Thai Navy special forces Facebook page shows the team draped in foil blankets to keep them warm.

A team of Thai Navy Seals and medics are in the cave with the boys and their coach, and there are two main plans to get them to safety.

The boys and their coach were trapped in the cave by a sudden influx of water.

This amid reports that the coming monsoon rains may complicate the rescue from the 10 km-long Tham Luang cave complex, and that the 13 of them will need diving lessons in order to leave the cave.

Chiang Rai provincial Governor Narongsak Osatanakor said he asked the Seals in charge of extraction plans to estimate what sort of a risk would be involved to take them out and "what kind of readiness we can have today and decide if we can take that chance".

Cheers erupted at a camp outside the Tham Luang cave's entrance when they had all been found alive.

Authorities are racing to find a way to get them out of the cave before monsoon season, which began in May, hits full swing.

Some local firms have also offered help.

Families of the teenage soccer players have expressed their joy over the discovery of the boys.

"He is thinner" she said as she ran her finger over his image - a sign of the heartache the saga has brought to relatives of the trapped 13.

Why it is proving hard to extricate Thai cave boys What next?

While waiting for the flowing streams to subside, the Navy Seal divers were teaching the boys to dive with oxygen masks in preparation for the planned evacuation, he said. Another option would be to drill a hole into the cave and airlift the boys out.

"Learning to dive is easy, but this is not normal diving", he said.