Agonising wait for remaining Thai cave boys | Daily News

Agonising wait for remaining Thai cave boys

(Top Left) A helicopter carrying one of the rescued boys to hospital on Sunday. (Bottom Left) Parents waiting in hope.(Right) Sunday’s rescue mission.
(Top Left) A helicopter carrying one of the rescued boys to hospital on Sunday. (Bottom Left) Parents waiting in hope.(Right) Sunday’s rescue mission.

THAILAND: Cave divers in Thailand are poised to restart the high-risk operation to extract the remaining eight boys and their football coach from a vast flooded cave system.

Four boys were brought safely out of the cave on Sunday. But the mission was paused overnight for air tanks to be replaced. The boys became trapped in the cave on 23 June after heavy rains caused flooding, but were found alive last week by divers.

Rescuers decided to go ahead with the hazardous operation to free them because of fears that waters would rise again.

Activity at the dive site early on Monday suggests that the operation may have resumed or be about to resume. But there has been no confirmation. At least seven ambulances have driven towards the cave entrance.

Rescuers took advantage of a break in the rain on 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.

But with heavy rainfall overnight and more forecast for the coming days, divers will need to work quickly to free those still trapped. On Saturday, Narongsak Osottanakorn, governor of the Chiang Rai province, said that teams had a three to four-day window to carry out their operation.

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 system.

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.

- BBC


 

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