Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Thai Cave Rescue: How Elon Musk's 'Kid-Size' Submarine Could Assist Mission

Thai Cave Rescue: How Elon Musk's 'Kid-Size' Submarine Could Assist Mission

Each boy is being accompanied by two divers through the dark and complex cave system.

Lastly came Pipat Bodhu, 15, aka Nick, who was not even in the team but came along as a friend of the goalkeeper.

"The operation went much better than expected, " Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is overseeing the mission, said Sunday night. A medic and three Thai Navy SEALs who have stayed with the boys on a small, dry shelf deep in the flooded cave will also come out, he said.

It was not immediately clear on Monday whether more rain overnight had affected water levels inside the cave.

The head of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, said last week they would bring the fittest people in the group out first.

In a statement released by the government, Mr Paojinda said officials were meeting Monday morning local time about how to extract the remaining nine people from the cave in the country's north. Mr Paojinda said more air canisters were being placed along the underwater route to where the boys and their coach have been trapped for nearly two weeks.

Describing Monday's rescue, the first source said the boys arrived at Chamber 3 at 4pm after being rescued by foreign and Navy Seal divers from the ledge called Nern Nom Sao, where they had sheltered from floodwaters for more than a week.

Rescuers are racing to beat the next downpour, which could further complicate efforts to remove the boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach.

Rescue workers prepare to transport boys rescued from that Luang cave complex Sunday in Chiang Rai province in an image provided by the authorities.

Thai premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha was also due to visit the rescue operation late on Monday.

Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda told reporters the four boys rescued on Sunday were in good health in hospital but did not give details.

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It also appeared numerous times when they gave updates on the cave rescue , which was carried out over three nerve-wracking days. Volunteers from as far away as Australia and the United States helped with the effort to rescue the boys.

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There was no immediate word on their conditions.

After the four boys were removed from the cave, heavy rain started falling.

Among these were that none of the boys had scuba diving experience, and that they could easily panic while swimming underwater in darkness.

The four boys rescued Sunday are recovering in a nearby hospital and are yet to see their parents.

Thai public television has aired live video of a medivac helicopter landing close to a hospital in the city of Chiang Rai, near the site of the cave where a youth soccer team has been trapped for more than two weeks. They are still quarantined away from their parents, who have been able to see them through a glass window but not touch or hug them.

Medical teams previously said concerns included hypothermia and an airborne lung infection known as "cave disease", which is caused by bat and bird droppings.

Kittichok Kankeaw, a teammate of Nattawut Takamsai, one of the trapped boys, said he would try to assist his friend to catch up at school.

Olivero told Paddy Daly on the VOCM Morning Show that because they're children, they may be more resilient to the challenges ahead.

"I'm hoping for good news today", he said.

At least nine ambulances loaded with stretchers and blue oxygen tanks waited by the mouth of the cave on Monday. "And we have more expertise than yesterday", he said.

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