All 13 rescued from flooded Thai cave

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 12, 2018

Typically people would learn to scuba dive before embarking on a more technically challenging cave dive like the one involved in the rescue effort, said Chris Foisey, a St. Catharines, Ont. -based scuba instructor with experience diving through underwater tunnels.

Rescuers freed the last four of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from deep inside a flooded cave on Tuesday, a successful end to a perilous mission that gripped the world for more than two weeks.

The boys were trapped in the Tham Luan Nang Non cave that became flooded by monsoon rains while they were exploring it after a soccer practice on June 23.

After pondering for days how to get the 13 out, a rescue operation was launched on Sunday when four of the boys were brought out, tethered to rescue divers.

A crack team of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS guided the boys during a nine-hour operation through almost 4 km (2.5 miles) of sometimes submerged, pitch-dark channels from where they have been trapped for more than a fortnight. We always knew they would be alive.

They successfully extracted the second group of four a full two hours faster than the first, officials said.

As we enter the day three of the Thai cave rescue mission, the public health permanent secretary Dr Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, from the Ministry of Public Health and Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital, spoke to the media this morning (local time) about the health of the eight boys who have been rescued so far.

Provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said in a press briefing that the boys taken to the Chiang Rai hospital Monday were all conscious and in better condition than those rescued Sunday, classifying them as "good" and "safe", CNN reported.

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Thai Navy SEALS divers have already rescued eight of the boys. "Mini-sub is ready if needed".

The rest that were rescued on Tuesday are expected to join them. Doctors were being cautious because of the infection risk and were isolating the boys in the hospital.

If all goes according to plan, the remaining boys, their coach, and the doctor and Navy SEAL divers who have been with them in the cave will be brought out today.

Last Friday, an ex-Navy SEAL died while placing oxygen tanks along the 4.7-kilometer (2.9-mile) evacuation route.

Reuters reports that soccer's governing body, FIFA, has invited the boys to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday if they make it out in time.

So the challenge for the children lies in keeping in keeping calm while remembering the minutiae of a new skill, Foisey said.

Chief of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, declined to comment on the identity of the four people brought out in the evening, saying updates would be supplied at a news conference that is scheduled to be held late on Monday.

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