Trapped Thai soccer team entered cave for 'initiation' ritual, rescuer says

04 July, 2018, 08:29 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Divers make progress in search for 12 boys soccer coach in Thailand cave

Several divers, including a doctor and a nurse, have since yesterday been with the group inside the cave.

The group had entered the cave in northern Thailand on June 23 before flooding cut off the main entrance. "Brilliant", a member of the rescue team, speaking in English, tells the boys.

On Tuesday Anand Surawan, a navy captain, suggested that the boys would be sent "additional food to be sustained for at least four months", while they trained to dive and rescuers continued to drain water with high-pressure pumps.

It is partly that torrential forecast that has Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda eager to get the boys out before much more time passes.

"In theory, human beings can last 30 days (without food)", Narongsak told reporters on Monday before the rescue was completed, CBS reported.

Ben Reymenants, a Belgian cave diver who is part of the global team told NBC News' TODAY that he was "very surprised obviously that they are all alive and actually mentally also healthy".

The governor said that requests had been made to build "infrastructure" in the cave leading to the pocket where the teenagers and their coach are located.

They would be provided with four months of food, and there are plans to teach the trapped boys how to scuba dive.

After missing for 9 days, 12 boys and their soccer coach were found alive and trapped inside a Thai cave on July 2.

The video of that first contact was posted on Facebook by Thai navy special forces.

The rescuer tells them "you are very strong", but soon the traditional reserve of Thai children toward adults breaks a bit, and one tells another in Thai, "Tell them we are hungry".

They ask how long they have been underground and whether they can leave now. So it's not exactly a walk in the park to get them out.

One boy replies: "Oh".

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A pair of expert cave divers from Britain found the group about 300-400 metres past a section of the cave on higher ground that was thought to be where they might have taken shelter.

Family members of the missing hugged each other as they cheered.

Diving teams prepared telephone lines to lay in the cave to set up phone calls to the boys, the governor said.

The boys range in age from 11 to 16, and are with their 25-year-old coach.

The problem with this strategy is that it's monsoon season, heavy rains are expected, and it could be months before the water levels are back down to the level they were at when the boys entered the cave.

One of the toughest stretches for the divers came as they neared the so-called Pattaya Beach - an elevated mound in the cave complex - where it was hoped the boys had sought refuge.

He hasn't provided any explanation as to where one would obtain a tunnel like this, or how it could possibly navigate the aforementioned tight turns and narrow passageways.

Both men have been honored for their previous rescue work.

Bringing the trapped boys to safety is an extremely unsafe task given the conditions inside.

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

Australian Federal Police DEtective Superintendent Thomas Hester, who is part of the rescue operation, said: "Our Specialist Response Group dive team have been diving shortly after arrival (in Chiang Rai) and one of the difficulties they face is a very flooded cave system, it's very hard to see and move through that system".

Explorers have spent days scouring the mountaintop for possible alternative openings.

"When the medics have evaluated the kids to see if their health is in good condition, we will care for them until they have enough strength to move by themselves, and then we will evaluate the situation on bringing them out again later".

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