Diver Dies During Rescue Efforts for Cave-Trapped Thai Boys
07 July, 2018, 08:27 | Author: Sheila Harris
One reason the team can not yet be evacuated is that rescuers were also still searching for three more wetsuits with a thickness of five millimeters, the official, who has direct knowledge of the operation, told CNN.
More heavy rain is expected to fall over the weekend but the governor emphasized that rescuers would only try to free the team if the risk to their lives was minimal.
The only way to reach them was by navigating dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents.
Authorities have confirmed the oxygen supply in the cave has fallen to 15%, compared to the normal 21% levels in the air, a situation which has been made worse by the number of rescue workers inside the cave.
"Despite this, we will continue until we accomplish our mission", Arpakorn vowed.
The trapped boys' spirits were surely lifted on Friday when they discovered they had been invited to attend the World Cup final in Moscow if they make it out in time.
The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place oxygen canisters along the route to where the boys and others are sheltered, Thai SEAL commander Rear Adm. Arpakorn Yookongkaew said.
Said to be an avid runner and cyclist, he was part of the massive rescue operation launched after the group became stranded in the Tham Luang cave. If they pour, monsoon rains could raise the water levels inside the limestone cave complex to a threshold that prevents safe evacuation.
It's taken even experienced rescue divers up to five hours to safely navigate the unsafe cave channels to reach the team.
Tragically the 38-year-old passed out while underwater and rescuers were unable to revive him. "There is limited time", Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the rescue mission and Chiang Rai's former governor, told a midnight media briefing.
BELOW: A virtual look inside what the cave rescue could look like.
Gunan recorded a video of himself just moments before he boarded a plane to northern Chiang Rai province to join those assisting in the rescue operations at Tham Luang Nang Non, Thailand's longest cave.
Mr Karadzic, a diving instructor who has lived in Koh Tao Island in Thailand for 11 years, said he is anxious about the boys' dive training. "Everyone is a professional so we're trying to put it away and avoid it happening again", he said, adding: "Everybody is focusing on getting these boys out - keeping them alive or getting them out".
Weather forecasts for the region show five days of heavy rain on the way, which could undo all the work so far.
Cave rescue specialists have cautioned against that approach except as a last resort, because of the dangers posed by inexperienced people using diving gear.
The members of the Wild Boar soccer team were reported missing two weeks ago after they didn't return from an outing after soccer practice. "We still have to wait and see what happens next, and whether the water level will rise again".
Ten days later British rescue divers found them perched on a rock shelf about 4km (2.5 miles) from the cave mouth.
The Thai authorities had considered providing enough supplies to the trapped boys so that can survive in the cave for a few extra months until the monsoon season is over.
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