Authorities Speed Up Efforts to Rescue Thai Youth in Cave


"Worst-case scenario is they have to dive them out", Pat Moret, a rescue consultant, told CNN. Rescuers reached the group after enlarging a narrow, submerged passageway that had been too small for them to get through while wearing air tanks. Thai authorities, with the aid of rescue groups from China, Japan, Belgium, the United States, England and Australia, went through the flooded cave to find the boys. A fellow boy tells him they already said this, and then the rescuer assures them that "Navy SEALs will come tomorrow, with food and doctors and everything".

Officials cautioned Tuesday that the rescue could take "weeks or months" before the once-wayward group is removed from the cave.

Divers could also bring in food and other supplies to sustain the group until the water recedes enough for them to leave, or the team could be taught diving skills themselves to make the unsafe passage to safety.

While efforts to pump out the floodwaters would continue, Anupong said it's clear some areas of the sprawling cave can not be drained and that in order to get out, the boys may need to use diving gear while being guided by two professional divers each.

Experts say they could remain inside for weeks - or even months - as rescuers work out the safest option for their extraction.

Despite the success of the operation, Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said there were still challenges ahead in bringing them out of the flooded cave. "We are the first", the rescuers reply. He said Tuesday that seven members of his unit, including two medical professionals, are now with the boys and their coach inside the cave, according to The Bangkok Post. Options include coaching the boys on how to use special breathing masks, or draining water from the cave.

But now that the boys have been found, Thai navy SEALs have been leading efforts to ferry them out, with the aid of diving lines laid between the boys and the cave entrance.

"From the video clip shot when the British divers found the boys, they looked exhausted given the fact that they were there without food and water for many days".

Two other videos show the group having some light scratches treated by a military doctor. "But the operation isn't over", he said in comments broadcast nationwide, referring to the complicated process of extricating them.

Princess Alexandra awarded them a Royal Humane Society medal at Buckingham Palace for the rescue attempt in 2012.

Thailand's prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has thanked the global experts who assisted in the search. "Today is a good day for all Thai people, including the families of the children", Prayut said.

They went into the cave after practice on June 23 and became trapped by rising water. Those who have never done it will find it hard, because there are narrow passages in the cave. The elevated rock where the boys and their coach were found is about 4 km (2.5 mi) from the mouth of the cave.

Diver John Volanthen arrived last week at Tham Luang Nang Non.British caver Vern Unsworth emerged from Tham Luang complex on Tuesday.

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

With monsoon season typically lasting until October, that could still take months.

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

Food is being delivered to them, as it may take a long time for them either to learn how to dive or for the flood waters to subside enough for them to be rescued.

Other teams are still scouring the mountainside in the hope of finding another way into - and out of - the cave.