Saturday, 17 November, 2018

All 12 boys, football coach rescued from Thai cave

Provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn at a news conference Modal Trigger Provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn who heads the rescue operation at a news conference in Chiang Rai Thailand. Getty Images
Melinda Barton | 12 July, 2018, 08:21

Monday's rescue mission, which saw four boys extracted before dusk and whisked to Chiang Rai hospital, took around nine hours.

Mr Narongsak said about 100 people were involved in the operation on Tuesday, including the 19 divers newly sent into the flooded cave.

Officials lavished praise on the Thai and worldwide divers who, in pairs of two, executed the unsafe rescue mission, guiding the boys, who could barely swim and had no diving experience, through a treacherous 4-kilometer-long (2 1/2-mile) escape route that twisted and turned through the cavern.

British divers found them, hungry and huddled in darkness on a muddy bank in a partly flooded chamber several kilometres inside it, on Monday last week.

The first eight boys rescued are in good mental and physical health and are asking for chocolate, officials said Tuesday, although two were on antibiotics after being tested for pneumonia.

The boys rescued so far are in good overall health despite spending two weeks in the dank cave system, Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the ministry of public health, told a news conference in Chiang Rai.

The rescued boys are still being held in quarantine while lab tests are being done and have not been able to have direct contact with their parents yet.

The emergence of the second batch of four on Monday evening was greeted with a simple "Hooyah" by the Thai SEAL team on their Facebook page, an exclamation that lit up Thai social media.

"If nothing goes wrong the four boys and the coach, along with the doctor and three Seals with them, will leave the cave together today".

All 12 boys trapped underground in Thailand have been rescued following the "largest, most complex cave rescue in history". Doctors, though, said they'll have to remain in the hospital for treatment for at least a week, insisting they can watch the big game on TV.

What happens when the players are out of the cave " The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems", Jesada said.

Narongsak said he was grateful for Musk's support but the equipment was impractical for the rescue mission.

"We have been informed by the Football Association of Thailand that due to medical reasons, the boys will not be in a position to travel to Moscow for the World Cup final".

Heavy rain has been intermittent in the region over the last three days but further downpours could disrupt the removal of the remaining boys and their coach. "Mini-sub is ready if needed".

The youngest member of the Wild Boar team in the cave is just 11 years old. "Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future".

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the cave to inspect the operation and was quoted by Narongsak as saying he didn't want to see this kind of incident happen again on Thai soil.