Divers, medics, counselors and Thai navy SEALS were with the 12 schoolboys and a 25-year-old assistant coach, providing medicines and food while experts assessed conditions for getting them out safely, a task the government said would not be easy. "Sawadee krap", each boy says with his palms together in wai, the traditional Thai greeting. In a video posted by the Thai navy on its Facebook page, the boys are seen huddled on a rock in mud-stained T-shirts and shorts surrounded by water. The navy later released two more videos of the boys.
THE Thai official overseeing the rescue of a young soccer team trapped in a flooded cave says the 12 boys and their coach may leave the complex cave system in stages. The teammates, who were trapped inside when heavy rains flooded the cave, were found by rescue divers Monday night during a desperate search that drew assistance from experts around the globe.
The boys are being taught how to swim and dive so they can be escorted out by Navy divers if required, and authorities may also be considering drilling down into the cave.
The boys appear relaxed and much more alert than when they were when discovered late Monday by British divers, as they took shelter from surging underground waters on a muddy ledge.
A video shared by the Thai Navy SEALs leading the rescue mission shows them introducing themselves and stating their age. Now the sad update is that it might be risky to try to move them out according to the Navy Seals who are engaged in rescue operations. We train them in multiple failures and how to handle them.
She added she would never let her son go into a cave or near water again.
"This requires them do be psychologically able to cope with being underwater. and the dives being not too long or hard", Alan Warild, an expert from the NSW Cave Rescue Squad in Australia, said.
Rescue teams initially didn't plan to rush the boys and their coach out, but heavy rains forecasted for later this week are threatening to push forward those plans. "What we worry about most is the weather", Narongsak told reporters.More news: China says 'fully prepared' if trade war kicks off this week
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One local civil servant, who had volunteered to help hand out supplies, said he did not know the boys personally but had chose to help because "I consider the boys in the caves as my brothers".
"We are praying for each of you", he said.
Other options are also being explored, including scouring the mountainside for other ways into the cave.
Heavy rain is expected to start by Saturday, which will nearly certainly raise water levels in the cave, making passage in some areas more hard if not impossible.
Mirza, a member of the U.S. National Cave Rescue Commission, instead suggested the safest option would be to remain in place and continue to provide the boys with supplies until water levels drop or a new entrance is found. The idea is to get some headroom so the boys would not be reliant on scuba apparatus for a long stretch and could keep their heads above water.
If water levels fall and the flow weakens, the boys would be taken out of the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai quickly, he said. Luckily, the rescuers brought the trapped teenagers food enough to last for at least four months.
The British Cave Rescue Council, which has members taking part in the operation, said in a statement that "although water levels have dropped, the diving conditions remain hard and any attempt to dive the boys and their coach out will not be taken lightly because there are significant technical challenges and risks to consider". There are several air pockets along the way, but the total length of flooded passage is in the region of a kilometer (.6 miles) long.
Regional army commander Major General Chalongchai Chaiyakum, said it took rescuers 11 hours to do a round-trip from the cave's entrance to the group and back, often battling powerful currents in the murky water. "So it's a really quite a strenuous environment to be in".