Thailand cave rescue LATEST updates: The Thai Navy Seals in charge of the rescue operation confirmed that eight boys have now been rescued. Their Facebook page does not reveal the identity of the rescued boys.
The threat of monsoon rains re-flooding the cave is not as acute as previously feared, according to Johannes Sander of the Munich base industrial weather forecasters Sander and partner, The Guardian reported.
CNN reported that operations to remove boys and their coach from the cave in northern Thailand have completed for the day, according to an eyewitness who is part of the rescue operations stationed at the entrance of the cave.
CNN reported that an eighth boy left the cave Monday and has been sent to a medical facility on site according to an eyewitness part of the rescue operations stationed at the entrance of the cave.
CNN reported that the seventh boy has been pulled out of the cave complex in northern Thailand on Monday. That brings the number of boys stranded inside down to five. Their soccer coach remains with them.
Twelve boys, all part of a youth soccer team known as the Wild Boars, first went missing with their coach more than two weeks ago. The boys rescued on Monday were being sent to a medical facility on site, an eyewitness who is part of the rescue operations told CNN.
CNN reported that the fifth boy rescued from the cave complex in northern Thailand has arrived at a hospital in Chiang Rai.
He will join his four teammates already being treated at the newly converted isolation ward at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital.
Seven boys and their soccer coach still remain in the cave.
The Guardian reported that a source inside the rescue team confirmed a sixth boy has been rescued from the cave.
The Thai public broadcaster showed medical teams transferring the boy believed to be the fifth person rescued from the cave from an ambulance to a waiting helicopter, which then took off in the direction of Chiang Rai, where the four boys already brought out are in hospital.
Rescuers brought at least one boy out of the cave system on Monday, according to a witness outside the cave in northern Thailand.
He joins four other boys who were rescued on Sunday from deep inside the cave by a team of international and Thai dive experts.
The boys, all part of a youth soccer team known as the Wild Boars, first went missing over two weeks ago. Last Monday they were discovered huddled on a narrow shelf of rock deep within the flooded cave system.
Rescue chief overlooking operations in Thailand defended the lack of public disclosure of the names of the boys who had already been guided to safety, saying it "will create ill feeling" if their names are released while others languish inside the cave.
He also urged the media to behave respectfully. More than 1,000 journalists from across the world have descended on northern Thailand to report the story.
Four members of a Thailand youth football team guided out of a flooded cave complex will not be allowed physical contact with their parents until the risk of infection has gone, the chief of the rescue bid said Monday.
"They (the four) will be kept away from their parents for a while because we are concerned about infections," Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters, adding doctors will decide on family visits "at a distance or through glass."
The second phase of the operation to evacuate the remaining nine members of a Thailand football trapped deep in a flooded cave is underway, the chief of the rescue bid told reporters Monday.
"At 11 am sent (in) the second operation," Narongsak Osottanakorn said, adding he hopes it will be "quicker" than Sunday's operation which brought out four of the team.
Rescue and search operations in Thailand have been put on hold to replenish air tank supplies, reports have said. Officials said that extracting the remaining boys from the cave complex could take four days, but Sunday's success raised hopes that could be done. Authorities are preparing to resume extractions of a youth soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand a day after four boys were rescued.
The dangerous mission began Sunday with rain threatening to raise water levels inside the cave where the team was stranded two weeks. There was a heavy but brief downpour Monday morning. New oxygen tanks were being placed in the cave before the second stage of the rescue effort began.
Expert climbers, Thai Navy SEALs and rescuers launched a dangerous mission to rescue the 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped inside the flooded cave in northern Thailand. Four out of the 13 were rescued on Sunday. The group has been trapped inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave for the last two weeks.
Eight boys and the coach remained inside the cave as authorities paused the international effort to replenish air tanks along the treacherous exit route.
Eight boys and the coach remained inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave as authorities paused the international effort to replenish air tanks along the treacherous exit route. AP
The cave system in Thailand runs under a mountain range. Officials initially considered drilling as an approach for rescuing the boys, but that option has mostly been eliminated because getting the necessary drilling equipment up the mountain would be daunting and time-consuming.
Experts have said that the second day of rescue will be worse than Sunday because the boys have grown weak from falling oxygen levels in the chamber where they are trapped. One rescue diver died Friday when he ran out of air while underwater.
Officials initially considered drilling as an approach for rescuing the boys, but that option has mostly been eliminated because getting the necessary drilling equipment up the mountain would be daunting and time-consuming.
Thais have been fixated on the crisis, hoping desperately for the safe return of the boys and their 25-year-old coach, since they have been trapped in the Tham Luang cave complex on 23 June because of rising waters. They spent nine days unaccounted for inside the cave, before British divers found the emaciated and dishevelled group huddling on a muddy bank above the flooding.
Expert climbers, divers and Thai Navy Seals have mulled contingencies ranging from drilling an escape route through the northern Thailand mountain to waiting out the monsoon inside the cave. But the rescue was prodded into action by the threat of a fresh round of rains and falling oxygen levels in the cave.
To get the boys out, divers will be forced by the narrow passages to accompany them one at a time. None of the boys have scuba diving experience and experts have warned they could easily panic while swimming underwater in darkness.
The lack of space has added complexity to storing enough canisters of oxygen along the route out.
Interior Minister of Thailand Anupong Paojinda said that the divers need to place more air canisters along the underwater route to where the boys and their coach have been trapped since 23 June. He said that process can take several hours.
He said the boys rescued Sunday are strong and safe but need to undergo detailed medical checks.
The first four boys rescued team members were at the hospital, military and local officials told The New York Times. It will be hours before other boys can start the trip. Divers are replacing air tanks and supplies along their route until then.
It was not immediately clear Monday how the overnight rains had impacted water levels inside the flooded cave. Officials have said storms forecast for Chiang Rai province in Thailand's far north had factored into their decision to go ahead with a complicated and dangerous plan to have the boys and their coach dive out of the cave.
Thailand's Meteorological Department said there was a 60 percent chance of rain Monday with thunderstorms forecast throughout the week.
Expert divers Sunday rescued four of 12 boys from a flooded cave in northern Thailand where they were trapped with their soccer coach for more than two weeks, as a dangerous and complicated operation unfolded amid heavy rain and the threat of rising water underground.
Eight boys and the coach remained inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave as authorities paused the international effort to replenish air tanks along the treacherous exit route. Extracting everyone could take up to four days, but the initial success raised hopes that could be done.
"The operation went much better than expected," said Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is overseeing the mission.
He told reporters the four rescued boys were taken to the hospital in the town of Chiang Rai, the provincial capital, for evaluation, and the next phase of the operation will resume after about 10-20 hours.
The names of the rescued boys were not released.
His announcement, at a news conference more than an hour after helicopters and ambulances were seen rushing from the cave area, drew cheers and applause.
Narongsak had dubbed Sunday to be "D-day" as the complicated effort was launched in the morning.
He said 13 foreign divers and five Thai navy SEALs were taking part in the key leg of the rescue: taking the boys from where they have been sheltering and through dark, tight and twisting passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents.
Two divers were to accompany each of the boys, all of whom have been learning to dive only since July 2, when the first searchers found them.
Cave rescue experts consider an underwater escape to be a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving.
The death Friday of a former Thai navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, underscored the risks. The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place oxygen canisters along the route.
But Narongsak said earlier that recent mild weather and falling water levels had created optimal conditions for an underwater evacuation. Those conditions won't last if the rain resumes, he said.
After the four boys were removed from the cave, heavy rain started falling.
The potential for rising water and the dwindling oxygen levels added to the urgency of getting the team out. Efforts to pump water out of the cave have been set back by heavy downpours.
Narongsak said Saturday that experts told him new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to just 10 square meters (108 square feet).
The next phase of the operation would start sometime Monday after rescue teams replenish the supply of oxygen tanks along the route.
On Sunday night, Thai navy SEALs posted a celebratory note on their Facebook page, saying: "Have sweet dreams everyone. Good night. Hooyah."
The boys and their coach, whose team is known as the Wild Boars, became stranded when they were exploring the cave after a practice game on June 23.
Monsoon flooding cut off their escape route and prevented rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days.
The ordeal has riveted Thailand and captured the world's attention. The search and rescue operation has involved dozens of international experts and rescuers, including a U.S. military team.
Elon Musk's Space X rocket company tested a "tiny kid-sized submarine" that could potentially help the children through the narrow, flooded cave passageways. A spokesman for Musk's Boring Co. tunneling unit, which has four engineers at the cave, said in an email Sunday that Thai officials had requested the device. If the tests were successful, the sub would be placed on a 17-hour flight to Thailand. He posted a video of a diver testing the device in a pool.
President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday: "The U.S. is working very closely with the Government of Thailand to help get all of the children out of the cave and to safety. Very brave and talented people!"
The boys sounded calm and reassuring in handwritten notes to their families that were made public Saturday. The notes were sent out with divers who made an 11-hour, back-and-forth journey.
One of the boys, identified as Tun, wrote: "Mom and Dad, please don't worry, I am fine. I've told Yod to get ready to take me out for fried chicken. With love."
"Don't be worried," wrote another boy, Mick. "I miss everyone. Grandpa, Uncle, Mom, Dad and siblings, I love you all. I'm happy being here inside, the navy SEALS have taken good care. Love you all."
One particularly touching note from another boy said: "I'm doing fine, but the air is a little cold, but don't worry. Although, don't forget to set up my birthday party."
In a letter of his own, coach Ekapol Chanthawong apologized to the boys' parents for the ordeal.
"To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care. I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible. I want to say thanks for all the support and I want to apologize to the parents," he wrote.
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Updated Date: Jul 09, 2018 19:59:53 IST