Thai Cave Rescue: How Elon Musk's 'Kid-Size' Submarine Could Assist Mission

11 July, 2018, 10:29 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Phase two of Thai cave rescue underway

At a news conference Monday, former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn said the second rescue involved numerous same divers who brought the four boys out on Sunday.

Image: A crowd watches as ambulances transport some of the rescued boysA crowd watches as ambulances transport some of the rescued boys to a hospital on Monday.Lauren DeCicca / Getty Images Three more boys were carried out in the hours that followed, according to a post on the Thai navy SEALs Facebook page.

The families of Thai boys rescued after a harrowing two weeks trapped in a cave deep underground will be allowed to see them today, but will be told not to hug or kiss them until health checks are complete.

Ten rescuers had put on scuba gear and headed into the Tham Luang cave network about 11 a.m. local time on Monday, Thai officials said.

Thai officials started the rescue operation on Sunday as weather experts predicted more rain in the coming weeks.

The head of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, said last week they would bring the fittest people in the group out first.

Video provided by rescuers shows the first four boys being stretchered out of Tham Luang cave complex, where they had been trapped since Jun 23.

Still, for the relatives of the Wild Boar team members, an agonising wait continued.

The rescued boys had to travel about 2 1/2 miles with oxygen tanks, making their way back to the cave's entrance using a 3-mile rope.

"Doctors have treated the boys, and now all of them are OK and cheerful and are talking normally", said Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the Thai Ministry of Public Health. "We should hear good news again", Narongsak said.

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But after the first four emerged late on Sunday afternoon, hopes began to rise of a fairytale ending to the ordeal.

"We're going to keep people on site until they get everyone out, the boys, the coach and the divers", Decker said.

Narongsak said favorable factors for a successful rescue, including the fact that water levels in the cave remain stable even though rain had fallen.

The parents of the boys have maintained a constant vigil outside the cave since they went missing, praying for their safe return. "From what I've seen in the clip, they did look skinny", he said.

Heavy rain soaked the area overnight, increasing the risks in what has been called a "war with water and time" to save the boys. Highlighting the extreme dangers, a former Thai Navy SEAL died Friday while replenishing the oxygen canisters placed along the route to the boys' damp refuge.

A hint of setting sun and blue skies broke through the heavy clouds behind the caves as a helicopter whirred through the sky, carrying the last boys recovered to a hospital in nearby Chiang Rai.

Eight more boys and their coach need to be removed from the cave, and the rescue has resumed, CNN reports. Two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said.

A hospital spokesperson told media the priority was to make sure the children were safe.

"In the next few hours we will have good news". The most risky part is the first kilometer, during which the divers and boys are required to squeeze through a narrow, flooded channel.

The cave complex is off-limits during the rainy season, which usually runs from May to October, when downpours can quickly flood it.

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