Thai boys, coach not well enough for rescue mission from cave

Doug Mendoza
July 6, 2018

Rescuers are still pumping out water but overnight rains mean that the passage nearest to their original ledge is now flooded to its ceiling.

The boys and their coach had gone on their bikes up to the caves on Saturday 23 June after football practice.

"I'd speculate it could be helpful - even if it functioned exclusively as a way for the children to feel like their coach was doing something to help them", said Michael Poulin, a professor of psychology at the State University of NY at Buffalo. They found the group's belongings, handprints, and footprints near the cave.

With these factors in mind, Thai Navy SEALs are now rushing to teach the adolescents how to properly dive.

If diving proves impossible, there is an outside chance a hole can be drilled into the cave to evacuate them or they will have to wait for waters to recede and walk out - the longest of the options. He said the rescue teams are anxious about the water level in the cave and make calculations to determine the risk if more rain comes down and raises it further.

'We can't risk having the flood back into the cave'. The boys - aged from 11 to 16 - would be accompanied by professional divers.

Rafael, 53, who is originally from Israel but has lived in Thailand for more than 30 years, said he had been inside the cave 25 years ago and found that it was more hard to navigate than other caves he had tackled.

In a sign of increased urgency, Narongsak said medics and Thai Navy SEAL divers are assessing whether the boys are fit and well enough to be taken out early - apparently softening his stance on Wednesday that "no risk" will be taken with the evacuation.

Close friend Chaiyon Srisamut told MailOnline: 'Vern found out that the boys were stuck in the cave the next day.

Portions of the potential escape route would require the boys to swim under water with dive masks to breathe.

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"We are talking kilometers of transport under the water with zero visibility", said Claus Rasmusen, a certified cave diving instructor based in Thailand who has been helping Thai SEAL team with logistics. "It has definitely helped him and probably helps the boys to stay calm".

"The rains ended up creating flash flooding that came in behind them and cut them off".

Governor Osatanakorn added: 'This morning, I have asked for 13 sets of (diving) equipment to be prepared and checked the equipment lists and place them inside (the cave) in case we have to bring them out in this condition with less than 100 percent readiness'.

The race to drain water from a flooded Thailand cave so a young soccer team can be extracted before monsoon rains suffered a setback Thursday when volunteers inadvertently pumped water back into the watery prison.

The images have delighted a Thai nation that has held its breath for a successful outcome to a challenging rescue kilometres inside one of the country's longest caves. According to Mr Narongsak, rescue teams are assessing how many days they have to pump the water out until the water level at Sam Yak falls to a manageable level and how many hours they will have if they can not maintain the water level. The teammates, who were trapped inside when heavy rains flooded the cave, were found by rescue divers late Monday night during a desperate search that drew assistance from experts around the globe.

They are now being cared for inside the cave by the some members of the navy.

But all of 13 stranded footballers are in a good state of mind and in high spirits, he said.

The cave rescue will be complicated.

That decision will include how many boys to take out-given the taxing nature of the journey, which is taking trained Thai Navy SEAL divers five hours-and whether to assign two or three divers per boy, Gov. Narongsak said. "Who is ready first can go first", he said. They could be brought to larger dryer spaces be warmed, refed, looked after and comforted.

Other reports by GizPress

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