Thai cave rescue: Four more boys extracted in second operation

10 July, 2018, 01:33 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Jacob Goldberg 
american divers arrive at the site

"The eighth person is out and the operation is done for today", Sitthichai Klangpattana, flag officer to Thailand's Navy SEAL commander, told AP.

It was expected that the boys would not have to dive to get out of the cave - as had been previously predicted - because the cave system would largely be walkable, according to officials.

Authorities have been rushing to extract the boys, ages 11-16, and their coach from the cave as monsoon rains bore down on the mountainous region in far northern Chiang Rai province.

The second phase of a rescue operation has ended for the day, with more than half of the Thai soccer team rescued from the cave.

The boys are said to be generally in good health but doctors are still evaluating whether they could have picked up any risky infections, such as the potentially lethal leptospirosis, while inside the damp cave for two weeks.

He did not say how many boys the team hoped to bring out on Monday.

"If we wait and the rain comes in the next few days we will be exhausted again from pumping and our readiness would drop".

Billionaire Elon Musk has a unique proposition for saving the boys' soccer team trapped in a Thai cave.

Authorities had said that incoming monsoon rains that could send water levels in the cave rising, coupled with falling oxygen levels in the enclosed space, added to the urgency of getting those trapped out.

The four boys pulled from the cave Sunday in an urgent and risky operation that involved them diving through the cave's dark, tight and twisting passages were happy and in good health, authorities said.

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"The children complained that they were hungry and wanted holy basil stir-fried rice", Narongsak Osottanakorn, the head of the rescue operation, told reporters on Monday, referring to a popular Thai dish. They have not been reunited with their families yet due to infection concerns.

Police and military personnel use umbrellas to cover a stretcher as it is carried to a helicopter from an ambulance at a military airport in Chiang Rai, Thailand, on Monday, as rescue operations continue for those still trapped inside the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district. None of those kids will have to spend any time inside the tiny submarine, but it could be developed further for similar rescue missions in the future.

A relative of one member of the soccer team said that the boys' families had agreed to remain at the cave until all of the boys and the coach are brought out. Dr. Paul Auerbach, a professor of emergency medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, told ABC News that it could take several days for doctors to replenish the nutrients the boys lost during their cave ordeal.

Rescuers have been unable to extend a hose pumping oxygen all the way to where the boys are, but have brought them some oxygen tanks.

The rescue mission is still underway.

An update Saturday from the Thai navy said three navy SEALs were with the boys and their coach, one a doctor.

The entire operation to rescue all 13 could last two to four days, depending on weather and water conditions, said army Maj.

The plight of the group has transfixed Thailand and the rest of the world, as authorities struggled to locate them and then devise a plan to get the boys and their coach out. Add Thailand Cave Rescue as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Thailand Cave Rescue news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

Oxygen levels in the caves also dropped, causing the cramped passageways to be even more deadly than before.

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