Thailand Cave Rescue: 8th Boy Emerges on Second Day of Dangerous Mission

  • Thailand Cave Rescue: 8th Boy Emerges on Second Day of Dangerous Mission

Thailand Cave Rescue: 8th Boy Emerges on Second Day of Dangerous Mission

The second rescue involved numerous same divers who evacuated the first four boys Sunday, former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn told reporters.

Last Monday they were discovered huddled on a narrow rock shelf deep within the flooded cave system.

The rescue of the remaining boys and their football coach is being carried out by trained divers who are helping them through the flooded cave network.

"We've been working continuously overnight", a Chiang Rai government source told AFP on Monday morning, requesting anonymity, and confirming that there had only been a pause of the actual extraction operations.

Rescued schoolboys are moved from a military helicopter to an awaiting ambulance at a military airport in Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 9, 2018.

The Thai official leading the rescue operation, which has involved two elite British divers, said it has gone "better than expected" and that the healthiest boys have been taken out first. Authorities say they want to get them out now, given the looming threat of more rain and floods.

The story of the boys and their novice monk-turned-soccer coach from this small town on the Thai-Myanmar border - remarkably found alive nine days after they went missing June 23 - launched an worldwide rescue effort and intricate planning on how to maneuver all 13 safely through the narrow passageways and ink-black waters. Eight people remain trapped in the flooded cave system.

Authorities have been rushing to extract the boys, ages 11-16, and their coach from the cave as monsoon rains bore down on the mountainous region in far northern Chiang Rai province.

On Monday, skies were largely clear over the site but rain has been forecast for at least the next three days.

The journey had taken as long as five hours from the part of the cave where the boys are to the exit when the water level was high and the current was strong, but that was down to around 2 ½ hours by Sunday, Karadzic said. "It was astonishing", she said, referring a video that captured the moment the boys were found. Cave rescue experts have said they consider an underwater escape to be a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving. Still, they were undergoing medical checks in a hospital and were not yet allowed close contact with relatives due to fear of infections, who were able to see them through a glass partition. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop this morning said lessons from the initial effort would be applied as two more groups of four are brought out of the cave.

"The next step is to make sure those kids and their families are safe because living in a cave has a different environment which might contains animals that could transmit any disease", a hospital statement said.

One particularly touching note from another boy said: "I'm doing fine, but the air is a little cold, but don't worry". Visitors would need to wear sanitized clothes and stay two meters away from the children. Now waiting to receive 4 divers to come out. The rescue team is the same team with a few replacements.

Thailand officials have not released the names of the boys rescued, so as not to upset the parents of any child still trapped. They got trapped in the cave after a sudden spell of heavy rains blocked the entrance of the cave. Thai Navy SEALs later announced two more had been freed in what Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn called a "very smooth operation".

The rescue operation to free a Thai soccer team from a cave is underway.

As of Tuesday, four other team members and their 25-year-old assistant coach are still stranded in the cave.