Thai cave rescue: Youth footballers to be taken to safer place in cave

Divers struggled through narrow passages and murky waters to find the 12 boys and their coach late on July 2, 2018, on an elevated rock about 4 km away from the mouth of the cave.
Divers struggled through narrow passages and murky waters to find the 12 boys and their coach late on July 2, 2018, on an elevated rock about 4 km away from the mouth of the cave.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

CHIANG RAI (XINHUA) - Rescuers are going to take the 12 boys and their coach who have been trapped in northern Thailand's cave for more than 10 days to a safer place within the cave on Tuesday (July 3) midnight, said one of the rescuers on Tuesday.

Wang Yingjie, head of one of the Chinese rescue teams, told Xinhua that international rescue teams have drafted a plan to dive the boys out from the cave. They are setting rescue ropes and gas tanks along the flooded tunnel.

Wang, who joined in setting up the rescue plans, said diving experts have sent in food and mineral salts to the trapped boys and their coach who have not got any food in the last 10 days.

According to the rescue plan, divers will help the boys to reach a safer place which was set up as a rescuing centre in the cave.

Wang said that because of the complicated situation under the water, each boy will come out with the help of two divers, and each trip would take at least two hours.

Aged between 11 and 16, the boys went missing with the 25-year-old coach after soccer practice on June 23 after they set out to explore the cave complex in a forest park near Thailand's northern border with Myanmar.

Divers struggled through narrow passages and murky waters to find the 12 boys and their coach late on Monday (July 2) night on an elevated rock about 4 km away from the mouth of the cave.

 
 

All 13 people appeared to be in good condition, with no illnesses or injuries, said Mr Narongsak Osotthanakor, governor of Chiang Rai province.

He said he was grateful to the British, the United States, Chinese, Australian, Japanese, Lao and Myanmar rescue teams who helped, and even took the lead in some parts of the overall search operation.