Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Nearly 20 Australians work on Thai rescue

Thai cave rescue route MAP How will divers help to FREE trapped boys GETTYThai cave rescue route Policeman line up on the main road leading to Tham Luang Nang Non cave
Melinda Barton | 10 July, 2018, 22:32

An ambulance was seen leaving the scene immediately afterward early Monday evening.

Two members of the trapped boys' soccer team have been rescued from a cave in northern Thailand, local officials say.

After emerging from the cave, they were taken in an ambulance to be evacuated from the cave site via helicopter.

"The next step is to make sure those kids and their families are safe because living in cave has a different environment which might contains animals that could transmit any disease", a hospital statement said.

They said the four boys already rescued are hungry but in good health in a hospital.

Thais were quick to jump onto social media on Sunday night to celebrate the rescue of the initial four.

The operation began at 10 a.m. local time and went faster than initially expected, but did not confirm which boys were rescued. It takes several hours.

Nopparat, the team's head coach, said that Ekapol would often bring the boys to and from their homes when their parents could not, saying, "He gave a lot of himself to them". A scrawled message emerges from the team's coach, offering his "apologies" to their parents. The second leg of the operation was placed on hold overnight as oxygen tanks were replenished and defibrillators put in place should the rescue take a bad turn.

Four more of the boys trapped for over two weeks in a flooded cave in northern Thailand were brought out on Monday, an official said, bringing to eight the number extracted in a high-stakes rescue operation.

But as the divers reached their destination, the heavens opened, sending water cascading into the cave system.

Four boys who are a part of a junior football team have been rescued. The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place air canisters along the passage to where the boys are, necessary for divers to safely travel the five- to six-hour route.

He said the next operation will be conducted on Tuesday. Nine people remained trapped in the cave, including the team's coach, as of Monday morning.

But the efforts to rescue the boys - aged between 11 and 16 - have proved a monumental challenge.

All preparations, including replacing the oxygen cylinders positioned along the route out in the cave, take at least 20 hours, he said.

Elon Musk posted a video of a "kid-sized submarine" being tested under water.

Musk posted videos on Twitter of the aluminum sub being tested at a swimming pool Sunday midafternoon California time.

Those still inside the cave are perched on a small muddy ledge four kilometers (2.5 miles) inside the cave complex, surrounded by flood water and with a limited supply of oxygen.

The operation on Monday went more smoothly than on Sunday and took two hours less as the practice became more refined, he said.

In anticipation of this back-up plan, the British Cave Rescue Council received a further request from the Thai government to send additional expert cave divers, the BCRC statement said.

The area outside the Chiang Rai hospital was cordoned off by police.

Authorities have so far refused to release the identities or conditions of the four who have escaped.

Rescuers made a decision to go ahead with the hazardous operation on Sunday because of fears of rising waters.

Doctors are monitoring them for any illnesses they may have picked up in the cave, and supervising efforts to build up their strength after they spent more than two weeks with little food and no natural light.