Monday, 23 July, 2018

Coach took boys into Thai cave as 'initiation ritual'

Rescuers explore fissures on the mountain hoping to find shafts that lead down into Tham Luang cave Rescuers explore fissures on the mountain hoping to find shafts that lead down into Tham Luang cave
Andrew Wong | 04 July, 2018, 13:52

The group had been missing for nine days before they were found by divers late on Monday on a small dry ledge.

Rescue divers had spent much of Monday making preparations for a final push to locate the missing, efforts that had been hampered much of the week by flooding that made moving through tight passageways filled with muddy water hard.

His office said the PM "wishes to thank the tremendous efforts of all worldwide units that have come to assist the Thai authorities in rescuing the youth football team that was stuck in the caves in Chiang Rai".

"We believe that there is only a short break in the monsoon and all feasible options for the rescue of the boys are being considered", Whitehouse said in a statement. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them.

However Yuval Zalmanov, who is taking part in the rescue efforts for Israeli company Maxtech, which manufactures emergency communications devices, said he thought the group would make it out in a matter of days.

Thai rescuers collect food at the base camp at Tham Luang Cave.

While efforts to pump out floodwaters are continuing, it's clear that some areas of the sprawling cavern can not be drained, said Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda, a member of Thailand's ruling military junta.

And he said his toughest challenge was attempting to rescue accomplished French diver Eric Establie in 2010.

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Attempts were being made to install power and telephone lines inside the cave to let the boys speak with their parents, Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osotthanakon said. "We are the first".

The teammates, who were trapped inside when heavy rains flooded the cave, were found by rescue divers on Monday night during a desperate search that drew assistance from experts around the globe.

The video lasting about a minute was recorded sometime Tuesday and was posted on the navy SEAL Facebook page Wednesday morning. They must be able to use diving gear.

Mr Stanton's former fire service colleague Watch Commander Alex Daw, of West Midlands Fire Investigation Prevention, said: 'If it was me stuck anywhere, the one person I would want to come and rescue me is Rick Stanton'.

"Thirteen!" replied one of them. They could not go back the way they had come because they would have had to swim through flooded passages.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha thanked the worldwide experts and rescuers who helped locate the missing for their "tremendous efforts".

One Thai twitter user said that he was "crying in (a) taxi" at the news.

Kian Kamlaung, the mother of 16-year-old Pornchai Kamlaung, said it was like he had been given a new life.

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They were found on a rock shelf about 4km from the mouth of the cave.

The group's bikes were found abandoned near the cave's entrance.

"Many people are coming", one of the divers told the group. Rescuers found them July 2.

Men from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand overseeing the pumping of water from Tham Luang Cave.

"Strategies have been looking at whether the boys are supported for a longer term option where they are, and Thai authorities have been looking at engineering options - whether or not they can drill down from the surface into the chamber where they are". The wet season typically lasts from May to October in northern Thailand, where the Tham Luang cave is located on the borders of Myanmar and Laos.

But experts have cautioned that taking inexperienced divers through the unsafe corridors of muddy, zero-visibility waters would be very risky.

An Australian miner who was trapped a kilometre underground for a fortnight said the 12 Thai boys and their coach now had "hope" after their miraculous discovery inside a cave. But that did not mean they would wait until all the water was drained out, he said.

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