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Boys trapped in Thailand cave learning to swim to escape, governor says

05 July, 2018, 07:37 | Author: Hannah Francis
  • Rescuers clear hurdle in cave search for missing Thai boys

Some of the experts maintain that the best strategy would be to supply them with food, clean water and warm clothes inside the cave for the time being.

The British Cave Rescue Council, which has members taking part in the operation, said in a statement that "although water levels have dropped, the diving conditions remain hard and any attempt to dive the boys and their coach out will not be taken lightly because there are significant technical challenges and risks to consider".

Authorities said the boys, who had also been shown Tuesday in a video shot by the British diver who discovered them, were being looked after by seven members of the Thai navy SEALs, including medics, who were staying with them inside the cave.

"The last thing you want is a panicking diver in a cave, they would not survive that".

A video released by the SEALS on Wednesday showed two rescuers in wetsuits sitting on a elevated part of the cave beside the boys, who are wrapped in emergency foil blankets.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, said his son Peerapat, 16, was able to swim, adding that he was confident the Seals' experience and professionalism would help get the boys home safely.

Check out this map to see how the team got in - and get a sense of how hard it will be to get out. The navy later released two more videos of the boys.

Could the group swim out?

"Extracting the children takes a lot of people", Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters.

A report in The Guardian says the boys are being trained to breathe through scuba masks. Several of the boys are seen smiling as they interact with the navy SEAL, who cracks jokes.

The boys may have to be kitted up with scuba gear and dragged through the unsafe passage while being closely tethered to divers, but then they run the risk of have their life-protecting gear being knocked off as they navigate the its tight crooks and crannies.

Despite the imminent danger, the children have appeared in a new video, laughing as they greet the camera to say they are in good health.

Some of the route involves squeezing through tight gaps underwater.

"We are here to pray and sing for them", said one of the children, Weerapat Kiat-orarnkul.

Before they were found, they would have lived in total darkness once any torch batteries had expired.

Unknown factors include the possibility of unsafe animals like snakes in the cave or of contamination from bat droppings. Rescuers are studying how to extract them safely.

A Thai official overseeing the rescue operation said the health of the individuals will dictate whether they are extracted from the cave.

They were mostly in stable condition and have received high-protein drinks.

Efforts to install a telephone line late on Tuesday failed, but food, medicine and relief equipment continues to be ferried to the children.

Other teams are still scouring the mountainside in the hope of finding another way into - and out of - the cave.

But attention has now turned to how to get the group back out through several kilometers of dangerously flooded tunnels.

Photographs of Pheeraphat "Night" Sompiengjai, one of the members of a Thai youth football team now trapped at the Tham Luang cave.

Rescue personnel work at the Tham Luang cave complex, as members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach have been found alive according to local media, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand July 4, 2018.

Thai soldiers makes their way down at the entrance to a cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped inside when heavy rains flooded the cave, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand.

Divers said the boys were in a small space around 2 kilometres into the flooded cave and between 800m and 1km below the surface, making any rescue very hard.

They were huddled on a rock shelf about 4km (2.5 miles) from the mouth of the cave.

The video lasting about a minute was recorded some time on Tuesday and was posted on the navy Seal Facebook page on Wednesday morning.


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