Phase two of Thai cave rescue underway

Clay Curtis
July 11, 2018

Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation said: "The factors are as good as yesterday ... We have set the plan for four people so if they want to take five out (at the same time), then they need to change the plan". Officials have said storms forecast for Chiang Rai province in Thailand's far north had factored into their decision to go ahead with a complicated and unsafe plan to have the boys and their coach dive out of the cave.

Workers have been working around the clock to pump water out of the cave, and authorities said Monday that heavy downpours overnight did not raise water levels inside.

They are being kept separate from their families at present because of infection fears, authorities said.

He said the plan is to launch the third rescue mission within 20 hours, and he is hoping for "100 per cent success".

The boys and their coach had been stranded in Tham Luang Nang Non since June 23 when they went exploring in the cave after a scrimmage.

However, rumours have rated that he has apparently been giving his food to the boys to keep them healthy, if this turns out to be true he may be rescued sooner rather than later.

Chamber 3 is the operational base for rescuers inside the cave.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the operation told Reuters the operation to rescue more of the nine boys and their coach was underway, although no official confirmation was issued.

Thai officials estimated the rescue operation would take 10 hours and end by 9 p.m. on Monday. Two divers accompanied each of the boys, all of whom have been learning to dive only since July 2, when searchers found them.

The cave rescue mission went faster than practice drills over the last few days, according to Osotthanakorn.

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Expert climbers, divers and Thai Navy Seals have mulled contingencies ranging from drilling an escape route through the mountain to waiting out the monsoon inside the cave.

A total of eight of the 12 boys have now been brought out of the treacherous cave system by divers, including four who were brought out on Sunday, when the rescue operation began.

Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osottanakorn said Saturday that mild weather and falling water levels in recent days had created the "perfect" conditions for an underwater evacuation.

Narongsak also said Monday that the condition of the five remaining people in the cave is "still good". On Sunday, four boys were safely evacuated from the cave.

A former Thai Navy SEAL diver died in the cave last week due to lack of oxygen. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

TRT World's John Joe Regan has the latest from Thailand. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the sixth was rescued just two hours later.

The boys and their coach have been trapped in the cave system in the country's north for about two weeks.

Over the weekend, Musk posted on Twitter a series of videos showing a team of divers trying to maneuver the Falcon tube in the pool of the Palisades Charter High School in California.

He tweeted Sunday evening the group was en route to Thailand with the device and would reach the destination in about 17 hours.

Elon Musk's Space X rocket company tested a "tiny kid-sized submarine" that could potentially help the children through the narrow, flooded cave passageways.

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