Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

DoD Personnel Assist in Thai Cave Rescue Operations

DoD Personnel Assist in Thai Cave Rescue Operations

More good news arrived Monday from the ongoing rescue of 12 boys and a coach from a youth soccer team trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand for 17 days.

He said the last five survivors in the cave were in good health, adding that those who are now at the hospital could not eat fried rice yet because they will have to adjust themselves with the eating. Nine people remain trapped in the cave. "The boys' strength, the plan - today we are ready like before".

Workers have been laboring around the clock to pump water out of the cave, and officials said Monday that despite heavy downpours overnight, water levels inside the cave did not rise. Pairs of divers shepherded the boys on the long and painstaking journey out of the cave, navigating muddy and silty water through tight passages.

"If you're claustrophobic to begin with, and then add to it that the cave is water-filled and dark and you're going to get twisted around and maybe upside down. that's a really scary situation", said Greg Brick, a geologist in the Twin Cities who also works for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a hydrologist. Eight boys and their soccer coach remain inside.

Following the initial rescues Sunday, the operation was paused for about 10 hours while divers replenished air tanks along the exit tunnel.

Extracting everyone from the cave could take up four days, but Sunday's success raised hopes that could be done. Narongsak says they are "safe" but no other details are given about their conditions. "Four boys were brought out today".

Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the rescue operation, said a team of divers went back into the cave Monday morning, local time.

At least one more boy has been rescued from Thailand's Tham Luang Cave as the harrowing mission to rescue the stranded children and their soccer coach stretched into its second day. When the missing soccer team was located on July 2, rescue medics who reached them evaluated all the boys and their coach and divided them into three categories: red for critical condition, yellow for serious condition and green for stable condition.

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Thai officials have been tight-lipped about the rescue operation, and would not comment on how many people were removed Monday. Officials wouldn't say how much diving the boys would be required to do in the rescue operation.

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Last night the Thai prime minister flew to the cave to thank the rescue squad, and said the ordeal should serve as a wake-up call to all children to avoid it happening again.

On July 6th, former Thai Navy diver, Petty Officer Saman Gunan died while helping deliver oxygen to the team.

A source involved in the rescue mission who saw two of the four boys walk out of the cave told Reuters that they looked exhausted but healthy, adding that one even looked "vivacious and fresh". "But there are caves where. explorers could go in and be trapped by rising water during like a heavy rain and trapped in an air pocket", Brick said.

"Just returned from Cave 3", tweeted the CEO.

The photo, posted on the Thai Navy SEAL page on Sunday, and has received over 60,000 shares.

There are now five members of the Wild Boar football team now left in the cave.

Monsoon flooding cut off their escape route and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

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