All 12 boys and their football coach have been rescued from a Thai cave after an day ordeal, the Thai Navy SEALs said in a Facebook post on Tuesday evening, on the third day of a complex mission to bring them out.
Some boys were sedated and carried out of Thai cave, rescuers admit
Four SEAL team divers — including a doctor — who stayed with the group were still to emerge, the Facebook post added. In a day of high drama, the remaining five boys emerged in groups as evening approached, guided out by international divers and the SEALs, who have played an integral role throughout an unprecedented rescue mission.
The 12 boys, aged from 11 to 16, and their coach, ventured into the cave on June 23 after football practice and got caught deep inside when heavy rains caused flooding that trapped them on a muddy ledge. Authorities then struggled to devise a safe plan to get them out, mulling ideas such as drilling holes into the mountain or waiting months until monsoon rains ended and they could walk out.
With oxygen levels in their chamber falling to dangerous levels and complete flooding of the cave system possible, rescuers pushed ahead with the least-worst option of having divers escort them out through the extremely narrow and water-filled tunnels. The ups and downs of the rescue bid has entranced Thailand and also fixated a global audience, drawing support from celebrities as varied as US President Donald Trump, football star Lionel Messi and tech guru Elon Musk.
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Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future. Thailand is so beautiful.
Simulating maneuvering through a narrow passage pic. The cave tunnels the remaining five must navigate through get as narrow as 38 centimetres tall — barely longer than an average ruler. Rescuers had attempted to dig more than holes, with 18 of them looking promising. But Mr Narongsak said he was not sure they could reach the boys, with the deepest reaching only metres below the surface and the group trapped more than metres down.
The British Cave Rescue Council said drilling would be too difficult because the equipment could not get through the dense foliage, there was no exact known target for the drill and the procedure could destabilise rocks above the children or block passages and increase flooding. The head of the operation would not confirm whether all five could come out today, raising questions over whether coach Ekkapol Chantawong could be left behind to spend a lonely night in the cave.
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