Thailand cave rescue: Officials appear close to launching rescue mission

Jul 08, 2018, 07:11
Thailand cave rescue: Officials appear close to launching rescue mission

The local governor supervising the rescue mission said Saturday that mild weather and falling water levels over the last few days had created appropriate conditions for an underwater evacuation, but that they won't last if it rains again. "Now and in the next three or four days, the conditions are ideal (for evacuation) in terms of the water, the weather and the boys' health", Mr Narongsak told reporters. "They are happy and they are safe". "Love you all." 5th letter Duangpetch "Dom" Promthep, 13, wrote: "I'm fine but it's a little bit cold, don't worry and don't forget my birthday".

Mick's grandfather replied: "I want Coach Eak to strengthen his physically and mentally weak health soon".

"Teacher, don't give us a lot of homework", it concluded. He said while oxygen levels have been adequate for the young men to survive in the cave, levels of carbon dioxide are on the rise, and rain could increase flooding and reduce the size of the dry space where they have been sheltering, some two kilometers into the cave system.

Fears that oxygen will become depleted had prompted the rescuers to consider an immediate underwater rescue, but that raised significant practical problems.

"Everything is a race against time", said Kamolchai Kotcha, an official at the forest park.

The area surrounding a cave in northern Thailand where a dozen boys and their football coach have been trapped is being cleared in readiness for the rescue operation.

Ivan Katadzic, a Danish diving instructor who has been ferrying oxygen tanks into the cave, said after a dive on Friday he was "double positive" about the mission because the water level had dropped considerably. "And please tell the coach we don't blame him and don't feel any guilty". The monsoon rains are expected to begin in the region within a day.

The rescue mission could begin as soon as the weekend, but no decision has been made whether to proceed, the United States official said.

"When we have no choice, we will have to make a decision", he said. The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place oxygen canisters along the route to where the boys and others are sheltered.

Narongsak said the drills would have to pierce 600 metres (1,970 feet) of fragile limestone rock to reach the boys and rescuers were discussing drilling angles. "They are here to risk their lives for people they don't know".

The massive operation inside and around Tham Luang Nang Non cave suffered its first death Friday when a former Thai navy SEAL passed out underwater and could not be revived. "I promise to take the very best care of the kids", he said. The divers have been bringing the team medical supplies and food.

The letter that includes the coach's message to parents is also filled with words of love from the boys.

Officials in Thailand have said they will not immediately attempt an underwater evacuation of 12 schoolboys trapped in a cave - because the children are not ready.

The authorities in Thailand say an air line into the cave has now been successfully installed.

Pipat Potiayu, 15, wrote: "I love you mom and dad and I want to eat pork shabu". Don't worry. I love you dad, mom and everyone.

The football coach who took the boys into the cave has written to their parents apologising for his actions.

"We've been waiting and still waiting to meet you", they wrote to him.

"Thank you for all the moral support and I apologize to the parents". "I'm really sorry to the parents".

The boys' parents wrote their own notes, telling them they were greatly missed and urging them to take care and remain strong.

Schoolboy footballers trapped in a cave in Thailand for 13 days have been invited by Federation Internationale de Football Association to attend the World Cup final - providing they get out in time.