Thailand Cave Rescue on Pause After 4 Kids Are Saved

Rescue operation begins for 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Thailand

The rescue started at 10 am Thai time and involved 13 worldwide divers and five Thai navy seals, who were described by Governor Narongsak as "an all-star team", reports the Daily Mail.

Nearly 100 rescue workers and divers, including global experts and elite Thai Navy Seals, are still desperately trying to get the remaining eight team members and their coach to safety, amid concerns of rising water levels and lack of oxygen.

"Our job is not completely done". He has also thanked global experts who helped find the boys. Osottanakorn said they will resume in 10 to 20 hours because "we've used all the oxygen".

But authorities face a new race against time as heavy rain, which had been predicted later this week, pummeled the cave complex in northern Thailand shortly after the first boys were freed.

"The operation went much better than expected", said Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is overseeing the mission.

Bodhi was not a member of the Wild Boars soccer club - rather he tagged along on the cave trek to be with a friend who is on the team.

Boonpiam, a seventh-grader, was the first to emerge from the cave aided by divers because he was the worst off, local media reported.

During a news conference Sunday, Thai officials thanked the media for their cooperation in clearing from the rescue area, saying that emergency responders needed space to work.

Last night, the Thai king led tributes to rescuers and the schoolboys as scenes of joyful weeping nationwide were shown on television. The rescue teams had rehearsed the plan for several days, Narongsak said, and had managed to drain the water level in the cave considerably, but needed to move fast.

'They're all alive': exhausted rescue diver thrilled after Thai soccer team located
Hopes were also high for finding some kind of access through fissures on the mountainside that might lead to shafts into the cave. The search for the group had gripped the nation as it was unclear where they were or whether they even were still alive.


As the rescue takes place, some have chided Ekapol for leading the team into the cave in the first place. "The war ends when we win all three battles - the battles to search, rescue and send them home".

The Thai defence ministry said a team from a Musk firm with drilling and exploration know-how should reach the cave on Sunday. The next phase could begin Monday after rescue teams replenish the supply of oxygen tanks along the route.

This is a hugely high-profile rescue attempt and Thailand knows the world is watching.

Cave diver and anesthetist from Adelaide, Dr Richard Harris, 53, dived with the rescue team yesterday afternoon and assessed the 12 boys and their coach inside the caves. In total, the mission could last several days, he also said, though the team of worldwide divers on the site are apparently feeling "buoyed" by the success of the operation so far.

"They are ready in every way", he said. Some sections of the cave require climbing equipment, and one section that has been flooded by stormwater is so narrow that divers must remove their oxygen tanks to get through.

The boys' rescue was treacherous, as pairs of expert divers Sunday escorted them out of the flooded and labyrinthine Tham Luang cave system one by one.

The rescue mission could take two to four days depending on the conditions in the cave.

Two more boys were pulled from the cave a short time later from where they had been marooned by floodwaters more than two miles from the cave entrance, the Thai Navy SEAL official Facebook page said.

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