Four more boys rescued from cave in Thailand

Following the rescue of four boys from the cave in northern Thailand on Sunday, another four boys have been rescued on Monday (overnight NZ time), with an attempt to rescue the remaining four boys and their coach on Tuesday.

Stuff: Four more Thai football team members freed in second cave rescue operation

Four more members of the Thai “Wild Boar” football team have been saved from the Tham Luang cave complex after another extraordinary day’s rescue effort in north-western Thailand.

The boys, guided to freedom by a diving team of 18 people that included both Thai navy SEALs and a specialist international dive team, emerged over three hours from about 4.30pm local time (9.30pm NZ Time).

The boys were transferred by ambulance, one-by-one, to a field hospital near the cave for an immediate medical assessment before being taken to the Chiang Rai hospital by a combination of helicopters and ambulances.

That means just five people remain in the cave and opens up the prospect of that quintet being evacuated as soon as Tuesday and this incredible effort drawing to a close.

The second dramatic rescue operation began on Monday at 11am local time (4pm NZT), 16 days after the team first went missing 3.2 kilometres deep inside the cave complex, while anxious relatives endured another agonising day.

Forecast monsoon rains have not yet eventuated, taking a bit of time pressure off the rescue.

So this is more good news.

Four boys rescued from Thai cave

The cave rescue has begun successfully in Thailand with four boys rescued, but the rescue is on hold as preparations are made for the next stage of the operation.

From Fox News – 2.5 miles is about 4 km

RNZ: Thai cave rescue paused, four boys rescued

Four of the 12 boys trapped inside a cave in northern Thailand have been brought out, and the operation is on hold while rescuers prepare for the next stage. Look back at our live blog to see how it all unfolded.

  • The boys and their coach were exploring the cave on 23 June when they were cut off by water
  • Teams entered the cave at 10am local time (3pm NZ time)
  • Thirteen foreign divers and five from the Thai navy are involved in the rescue
  • Eight boys and their coach are still to be rescued
  • The operation has now been suspended for 10 hours (from about 2am NZ Time) so rescuers can prepare for the next stage of the mission.

RNZ: Four boys freed but rest must wait

Four boys have been brought above ground, rescuers say.

Rescuers decided to go ahead with the hazardous operation on Sunday because of fears of rising waters.

The next phase would begin on Monday morning (local time), after relaying “all of the air tanks and all systems along the way”, Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said.

The rescued boys, who were escorted out by 13 foreign divers and five members of Thailand’s elite navy SEAL unit, are in good health.

Divers have been guiding the boys through darkness and submerged passageways towards the mouth of the Tham Luang cave system, where they have reportedly been able to walk the last part on foot.

Rescuers took advantage of a break in the rain to launch the mission much earlier than originally expected.

The first phase has also been conducted much faster than officials had predicted.

The group and their families had all given their agreement that they should be moved as soon as possible, said Mr Narongsak earlier.

The process includes a mixture of walking, wading, climbing and diving – all in complete darkness – along guide ropes already in place.

Wearing full-face masks, which are easier for novice divers than traditional respirators, each boy is being accompanied by two divers, who also carry their air supply.

The toughest section is about halfway out – at a section called “T-Junction”, which is so tight the divers have to take off their air tanks to get through.

Beyond that a cavern – called Chamber 3 – has been turned into a forward base for the divers. There they can rest before making the last, easier walk out to the entrance. They are then taken to hospital in Chiang Rai town.

So good news, so far.

Questions about going into Thai cave during monsoon season

It was great news that the twelve boys from a soccer team and their coach were found alive deep inside a cave system in Thailand.

Guardian: Thailand cave rescue: where were the boys found and how can they be rescued?

When 12 missing Thai boys and their football coach were found alive deep in a cave system on Monday, joy was tempered with anxiety. The caves are flooded with surging monsoon waters, pitch black and in places too narrow to allow rescuers to pass while carrying scuba gear. None of the boys can swim or dive. The dilemma: risk a highly dangerous escape or wait possibly months for the waters to subside. Next 24 hours will be crucial in Thai cave rescue drama

A CAVE explorer assisting Thai authorities trying to rescue 12 trapped schoolboys believes “we’ll know in the next 24 hours” if they will live or die.

British cave expert Vern Unsworth, who lives in Thailand, said the conditions were getting worse and there was now a narrow window in which the group could escape.

“I think we’ll know in the next 24 hours…We’ll keep our fingers crossed – everybody needs to pray and hope for a good outcome,” Mr Unsworth told the BBC.

The boys aged between 11 and 16, along with their football coach, have been trapped in the flooded Tham Luang cave system for 12 days.

But heavy monsoon rain is coming, and Mr Unsworth said rain that had already fallen had caused a dramatic rise in water levels in the cave.

Obviously the rescue is the most important thing right now.

But I have to ask why they were in the cave at all in the monsoon season, especially if it could take months for the rainy season to finish and for waters to subside.

Is the level of flooding unusual, even during the monsoon? Or is it a common risk?

Wikipedia says that the Thai monsoon runs from May to October, so flooding must have been a risk for some time.



Boys and coach found alive in Thai cave

After a junior soccer team and their coach were trapped in a 10 km cave in a mountain in Thailand on Saturday 23 June (nine days ago) there was a sustained rescue attempt by Thai and international teams, often battling flood conditions.

The boys and coach have now been found alive.

Reuters: Junior soccer team found alive in Thai cave after nine days

Twelve boys and their assistant soccer coach have been found alive by rescuers inside a Thai cave complex nine days after they went missing, Chiang Rai province’s governor said on Monday.

The boys, aged between 11 and 16, went missing with the 25-year-old after soccer practice on June 23 after they set out to explore the Tham Luang cave complex in a forest park near by the border with Myanmar.

“Thai Navy seals have found all 13 with signs of life,” Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters who have been following the increasingly desperate search that has gripped the country.

Relatives of the boys, who have been at a shelter near the cave hoping for a breakthrough, were seen cheering, smiling and receiving calls after being given the news. Rescuers shook hands and congratulated each other as occasional cheers broke out.

It remains unclear whether any of the group are injured or in need of medical attention, but they have been given energy gels to sustain them while a plan is worked out to bring them to safety.

The shouldn’t have had a problem with thirst, but presumably will be hungry.