Bangkok, Cave divers in Thailand have resumed
the high-risk operation to extract the remaining eight boys and their
football coach from a vast flooded cave system.
Ambulances have been seen leaving the cave entrance, amid
unconfirmed reports that more boys have been rescued.
Four boys were brought out safely yesterday (Sunday), but the
mission was paused overnight for air tanks to be replaced.
The boys were trapped in the cave on 23 June after heavy
rains caused flooding, but found alive last week by divers.
Rescuers decided to go ahead with the operation to free them
because of fears that waters would rise again.
The rescue is complicated by sections in the cave involving
diving, sometimes in a very confined space and climbing.
Rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said it had
resumed at 11:00 local time (04:00 GMT).
It was expected to end by 21:00, he said. “More personnel”
were being used than yesterday (Sunday).
Reporters at the site said they had seen someone taken away
on a stretcher to an ambulance, and a helicopter was then seen
leaving the area.
The names of the rescued boys have not been released out of
respect for the families whose sons were still inside, and they have not
been reunited with their own families, the mission chief added.
He said physical contact with loved ones would be avoided until
a risk of infection had passed though contact through glass or at a
distance might be allowed.
Narongsak allayed concerns that recent heavy rain might have
raised water levels, saying conditions were “as good as yesterday”.
“We should hear good news again,” he added.
Rescuers took advantage of a break in the rain yesterday
(Sunday) to launch the mission earlier than some expected.
The first stage of the mission ran “smoothly” and the rescued
boys were in “good health,” according to the Thai authorities.
A team of 90 expert divers – 40 from Thailand and 50 from
overseas – has been working in the cave system.
They have been guiding the boys through darkness and
submerged passageways towards the mouth of the Tham Luang cave
Getting to and from where the boys are has been an exhausting
round trip, even for the experienced divers.
The process includes a mixture of walking, wading, climbing and
diving along guide ropes already in place.
Wearing full-face masks, which are easier for novice divers than
traditional respirators, each boy is being accompanied by two divers,
who also carry his air supply.
The toughest part is about halfway out at a section named “T-
Junction”, which is so tight the divers have to take off their air tanks to
Beyond that a cavern – called Chamber 3 – has been turned into
a forward base for the divers.
There, the boys can rest before making the last, easier walk out
to the entrance. They are then taken to hospital in Chiang Rai, the BBC
Source: Oman News Agency