THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Eight rescued from Thai cave, but fears rise rain may trap last five

CHIANG RAI: Elite divers hauled four more young footballers out of a flooded Thai cave on Monday, authorities said, bringing to eight the number saved in a stunning rescue mission but still leaving five others trapped.


By AFP

Monday 9 July 2018, 09:35PM


Thai police and military personnel use umbrellas to shield a helicopter evacuation at a military airbase in Chiang Rai. Photo: AFP

Thai police and military personnel use umbrellas to shield a helicopter evacuation at a military airbase in Chiang Rai. Photo: AFP

"Hooyah," the Thai Navy SEALs, who have played a crucial role in the against-the-odds operation, said in a Facebook post this evening as they announced that a total of eight members of the "Wild Boars" football team had been rescued on Sunday and Monday.

Thais and many people around the world have been fixated on the crisis, hoping desperately for the safe return of the 12 boys and their 25-year-old football coach, after they ventured into the Tham Luang cave complex after practice and became trapped by rising waters more than a fortnight ago.

The extraction of the four today followed a similar pattern to yesterday, with the youngsters emerging in quick succession just before nightfall after navigating a treacherous escape route of more than four kilometres.

The saga has dominated global headlines, with the team spending nine days unaccounted for inside the cave, before British divers found the emaciated and dishevelled group huddling on a muddy bank above the flooding.

Authorities then struggled to determine the best way to save the "Wild Boars", with the group stuck on a shelf above the floodwaters in pitch darkness.

Among the ideas were drilling an escape route through the mountain, or leaving them for months until the monsoon season ended and the flooding subsided.

But with oxygen levels inside dropping to dangerous lows and the prospect of heavy rains flooding the area completely, authorities decided they had to move quickly, and take the group out through the water-filled tunnels.

Dozens of foreign divers and other experts from around the world were brought in to help the rescue effort, working alongside Thai Navy SEALs.

- Deadly dangers -

Rescue operations chief Narongsak Osottanakorn described yesterday's initial rescue bid as "D-Day" when it was launched, and there were fears that any one of many potential pitfalls could prove deadly.

Among these were that none of the boys had scuba diving experience, and that they could easily panic while swimming underwater in darkness.

QSI International School Phuket

The death of former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan who ran out of oxygen in the cave on Friday underscored the danger of the journey even for professionals.

But after the first four emerged late yesterday afternoon, hopes began to rise of a fairytale ending to the ordeal.

Narongsak yesterday described their journey out, escorted by elite divers, as "smooth".

Crucially, round-the-clock pumping to ease some of the flooding had paid off.

"The water level is still at a satisfactory level and we have enough teams to complete the mission," Narongsak said on Monday.

But although the eight were rescued, there were concerns they may have contracted an illness while in the cave.

Narongsak said after the first four boys were rescued that they would be quarantined "for a while because we are concerned about infections".

And rain could still re-emerge as a threat for the remaining five, particularly if there are complications that could delay the extraction further.

Weather forecasters warned heavy rain could hit the area through the week.

Authorities have repeatedly said the rain could re-flood crucial parts of the cave complex that have been drained and make the escape route much harder or even impossible to navigate.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Tout dumps slow loris with tourist, evades arrest at Kata Beach

It's not the Police's job you clown. How do you know how the operation was conducted?...(Read More)


Layan lockout: Public access denied amid Supreme Court wrangle for B10bn beachfront land

Best get yourself some legal advice if you don't understand something or won't accept anythi...(Read More)


Six houses destroyed by fire

Unless you haven't worked it out, prioritising when poor means staying alive. How do you know t...(Read More)


Still no charges for taxi driver who wiped out six vehicles, killed motorcyclist

What about the "HiSo's"or influential people as one commentator suggests in another po...(Read More)


Still no charges over deadly collision in Chalong that killed two tourists

What this article is about is a motor accident. Get with the program. Even Australia as are many oth...(Read More)


Still no charges for taxi driver who wiped out six vehicles, killed motorcyclist

Inhibitors to Thai Justice 101: “I have many things to do. Last month, I had an official meeting i...(Read More)


Still no charges for taxi driver who wiped out six vehicles, killed motorcyclist

As with every other law in Phuket (parking, speeding etc).... one rule for taxis and one rule for th...(Read More)


Saudi teen runaway leaves for Canada

A happy ending, let us hope she isn't a victim of some more patriarchal BS in way of "honor...(Read More)


Local residents angered over open sewer stench

Where's all the sewage from the recent 10000 + Laguna area condos going? ( I'd be one P O...(Read More)


Layan lockout: Public access denied amid Supreme Court wrangle for B10bn beachfront land

"Well no," well yes, it seems have a problem, first stating incorrectly sect 1336, now ign...(Read More)