Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Will Elon Musk’s ‘kid submarine’ be used in Thai rescue?

Thailand Cave Rescue For Trapped Soccer Team Onlookers watch and cheer as ambulances deliver boys rescued from a cave in northern Thailand to hospital in Chiang
Melinda Barton | 10 July, 2018, 08:24

The general leading the huge worldwide effort to rescue the young footballers and their coach thanked the god of rain for his forbearance, as the boys were guided out of the Tham Luang caves in full-face masks - easier than traditional respirators for novice divers to use - during an intense nine-hour operation.

Meanwhile, health experts said they would conduct a check-up of the boys on parameters like oxygen, malnutrition, dehydration, post-traumatic stress, and other psychological effects.

On Sunday, officials said it could "take days" to rescue the remaining boys and their coach. They wore full-faced masks "while hanging on to the bodies of rescue divers", Channel News Asia reported.

Four members of the Wild Boar soccer team were rescued Sunday and are in a hospital.

Officials said it had not changed the water level in the cave but forecasters have warned rain could continue to hit the area throughout the week. Numerous boys do not know how to swim.

That led an upbeat Narongsak to promise more "good news" on Monday afternoon that materialised a few hours later with the emergence of the other four.

"One of the things we have learned from previous research is that how young people are before they undergo an extreme experience like this is often a reasonably good predictor of how they will do later on after the event".

An ambulance carrying one of the boys rescued from the Tham Luang cave network on Sunday.

Chiang Rai province's acting governor, Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is in charge of the rescue, voiced confidence on Monday in the ongoing operation, provided the weather doesn't take a turn for the worse. Seven boys remain trapped inside with their coach.

Musk has been tweeting about the rescue effort for days and said he is "amazed by the bravery, resilience & tenacity of kids & diving team in Thailand".

Two elite British divers, Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, were the first rescuers to reach the group and are believed to be part of the team.

He told reporters the four rescued boys were taken to the hospital in the town of Chiang Rai, the provincial capital, for evaluation, and the next phase of the operation would resume after about 10-20 hours. "But if the rain god doesn't help, then it could be challenging", Narongsak said.

They will have to dive through narrow tunnels in dark, murky water, at some points stopping to remove the air tanks helping them to breathe because the tunnels are so small.

"The eighth person is out and the operation is done for today", Sitthichai Klangpattana, flag officer to Thailand's Navy SEAL commander, told AP.

A video published by the Thai PBS channel earlier on Monday also showed a person on a stretcher - most likely the first boy to be rescued on Monday - being transferred to a helicopter.

One volunteer, former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan, died Friday while placing spare air tanks along the escape route. A second mission, which rescued another four boys, commenced on Monday, July 9.