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

Thai cave rescue ends after last four boys and coach are saved

Thai cave rescue ends after last four boys and coach are saved

Eight boys have been rescued in total so far and are recuperating in a hospital after another four were brought out by divers on the second day of a high-stakes rescue operation, a top official said. One diver, a retired Thai Navy SEAL named Saman Kunan, died in the rescue effort last week.

The Guardian reported on Tuesday afternoon local time that a ninth and 10th boy had been pulled from the cave.

"All eight rescued boys today are in good health, none have a fever", Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the ministry of public health, told a news conference in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. Another two more boys left the cave complex a short time later followed by the fourth boy.

"I hope all four kids. the coach, and the doctor and three SEALs will be all out today", Former Chiang Rai governor and rescue mission commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn told reporters Tuesday.

Two of the boys had suspected lung infections but the four boys from the first group rescued were all walking around their hospital beds. They began again at 11 am on Monday after the teams had stopped for the night to rest and to replenish equipment and oxygen supplies.

Torrential rain struck the site on Monday evening and it continued through into the morning, but authorities said preparations for the final rescue mission were unaffected.

The ordeal of the Wild Boar football squad has gripped people in Thailand and all over the world, with cartoons expressing support for the team and rescue workers getting shared widely on social media.

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However the boys will remain in quarantine until doctors were sure they had not contracted any infections from inside the cave.

When asked about his first reaction as he saw the first set of boys who were rescued he admitted that he was "very scared".

People across Thailand cheered the rescue operation, including at the Mae Sai Prasitsart school where six of the trapped boys are students.

The head of the operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn, said earlier the final operation would be "more challenging" because one more survivor would be brought out, along with three Navy SEALs who have been accompanying them.

The boys are expected to remain hospitalized for at least a week, meaning they won't be able to take up FIFA's invitation to attend the World Cup final in Russian Federation. After they were found on July 2, officials cautioned it could take some time to get them out, but with heavy rain forecast to hit the region authorities chose to act.

He said they would need to keep at least 2 metres away from their boys for at least 48 hours, until "we are sure there is no infection, then they can visit them normally". No boys would be discharged for at least seven days. Four boys and their coach remain in the cave, but it's unclear if authorities will try to extract them in a group of four or try to take the five out in a single mission. They were trapped in the Tham Luan Nang Non cave that became flooded by monsoon rains while they were exploring it after a soccer practice on June 23.

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