Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Thais fight water and oxygen levels in cave as diver dies

Rescuers prepare dive gear at the entrance to a cave complex in which 12 boys and their soccer coach are trapped in Mae Sai Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand Thai boys healthy as rescue plans formed
Andrew Wong | 07 July, 2018, 00:30

"The boys are not suitable ...(they) can not dive at this time", governor Osottanakorn told reporters.

Seeing the boys has boosted the mood of relatives, and officials are working to install an internet cable to the cave so that parents can talk to their children. "We can't risk having the flood back into the cave". We are afraid of the weather and the oxygen in the cave.

"We want to find the way down".

But Thailand's Navy Seal commander suggested on Thursday that the divers may now have little choice but to attempt a daring emergency rescue - fraught with danger for the boys, who are aged 11 to 16 and some of whom can not swim.

Another video has helped boost morale as its messenger knows better than most what the boys and their coach are going through. The effort has also brought worldwide assistance including USA military personnel and the British cave-divers who first found the boys on Monday.

Several rescuers can be seen struggling through dark, narrow passages.

They say the death of PO Saman won't impact on their mission.

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"For divers wearing equipment... we are bigger, there is more gear to get entangled than a almost naked kid", Heinerth said in an email to CBC News on Friday.

Osottanakorn said the boys have learned to dive and are in good health, but the rescue mission won't kick into action even if the skies open up Friday night because it's still too risky given the amount of water in the caves and that the plan needs to be tested.

Around 1,000 people are involved in the rescue operations, including navy divers, military personnel and civilian volunteers.

Rescuers this afternoon conceded their rescue window was narrowing.

Thailand's Navy SEAL commander on Friday said rescuers may have little choice but to attempt the tricky extraction of the group, the first official admission that the 12 boys and their coach might not be able to wait out the monsoon underground.

Oxygen levels in the cave have also dropped during the rescue effort, with Thailand's Navy SEAL commander warning of a "limited amount of time" to rescue the 12 boys and their coach.

Authorities have confirmed the oxygen supply in the cave has fallen to 15%, compared to the normal 21% levels in the air, a situation which has been made worse by the number of rescue workers inside the cave. The usual level is around 21 per cent.

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May you rest in peace and we will accomplish this mission as you had wished.

"At first, we thought the children could stay for a long time - but now things have changed, we have a limited time", Yookongkaew said.

Despite the death, divers will continue to provide the soccer players with oxygen and the plan is still for the boys to swim out of the cave with divers.

Drilling was ruled out as an option early on, but Thanes Weerasin, the president of the Engineering Institute of Thailand, has revealed that a drilling crew are looking at a tunnel with a large hole about 100 metres into it, the Guardian has reported.

'We are awed by the bravery and strength that these young boys and their coach have shown amidst such frightening circumstances, ' it said on its website.

"It makes a bit more sense to me anyway, at least for the sake of safe access, to use a drill hole". But it's all possible, as was proven.

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The other partners so far appear powerless to stop their countries' companies pulling out of Iran for fear of USA penalties. The US has already been calling on its allies to stop importing Iranian oil by November 4, or face sanctions.

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