Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Thai Soccer Team Boys Evacuated From Cave By Rescue Team

Thai Soccer Team Boys Evacuated From Cave By Rescue Team

In total, the mission could last several days, he also said, though the team of worldwide divers on the site are apparently feeling "buoyed" by the success of the operation so far.

Two ambulances have left from a cave in northern Thailand, hours after an operation began to rescue 12 youth football players and their coach.

Mongkhol Boonpiam's mother said last night she learned her son may have been rescued from social media.

Rescue officials prepare to receive the boys and their coach as evacuation begins at Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai, on Sunday.

"Today is a D-Day for our operation", Narongsak said.

"There's no time limit on the operation", he said.

Rescuers have drilled multiple holes in the hills above the cave complex, but have so far not been able to find a safe way through the fragile limestone rock to the boys some 600 meters below.

"The operation went much better than expected", said Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is overseeing the mission.

Additional rescue personnel, including divers from Thailand, the US, Australia, China and Europe, were stationed between the third chamber and the entrance, where the boys would have to use a rope to traverse challenging terrain.

"Now and in the next three or four days, the conditions are flawless (for evacuation) in terms of the water, the weather and the boys' health", Narongsak told reporters.

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Loosely translated, it reads "Full face masks; two divers accompanying one boy; guided by rope".

Thai rescuers are being assisted by an global team comprising experts from China, Australia, the USA and Britain.

"Today we managed to rescue and send back four children to Chiang Rai Prachanukrua Hospital safely".

That along with dwindling oxygen levels added to the urgency of getting the team out.

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

A former member of Thailand's SEAL unit died during a dive on Thursday night, a grim turn in what began two weeks ago as an outing to celebrate the birthday of one of the boys. The 13 were having health evaluations and rehabilitation, and were being taught diving skills.

Food, water, electrolyte drinks, medicine and oxygen were also delivered to the trapped group.

The boys sounded calm and reassuring in handwritten notes to their families that were transported by divers and made public Saturday.

"Don't be anxious, I miss everyone". "I miss everyone. Grandpa, Uncle, Mom, Dad and siblings, I love you all".

Finnish volunteer diver Mikko Paasi, a long-term resident of Thailand, said the death of the Thai Navy SEAL had changed the mood on the ground and made real for rescuers just how unsafe the mission had become.

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