Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

How coach Chanthawong helped trapped Thai boys survive inside the cave

How coach Chanthawong helped trapped Thai boys survive inside the cave

It took nine hours Sunday to rescue the first two boys, who were described as the weakest of the group.

On Sunday, the divers managed to rescue four of the twelve children trapped in the flooded cave.

Four ambulances on Monday left the area around the flooded cave in northern Thailand where members of a youth soccer team have been trapped for more than two weeks, suggesting that a total of eight of the 13 trapped people have now been extracted.

As of Monday morning, nine people remained trapped in the cave, including the team's coach.

Doctors are monitoring them for any illnesses they may have picked up in the cave, and supervising efforts to build up their strength after they spent more than two weeks with little food and no natural light.

Earlier Monday, Narongsak said the four rescued the day before were in good spirits.

Divers have restarted the rescue effort to bring the final eight boys and their soccer coach from a cave in Thailand one day after the first four were safely evacuated.

Authorities have said the mission could take three or four days to complete. It is a race against the clock with heavy rain expected in coming days, which would again dangerously flood the tunnels.

According to the Associated Press, a Thai official revealed that the healthiest boys were taken out of the cave first.

They, were flown by helicopter from the Tham Luang cave to the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital, located at the heart of Chiang Rai province, about 70 km (40 miles) away. Whether they will succeed in getting all of them out will depend on Monday night's planning and preparation, Narongsak said.

The first four boys to be rescued were led out of the cave by an global team of rescue divers on Sunday.

The four boys who have already been rescued have been placed in quarantine to avoid the risk of infection.

The same elite divers involved in Sunday's rescue would conduct the next one, given their knowledge of the cave conditions, Thailand's interior minister said in a statement.

A search and rescue operation was mounted soon after they were reported missing, and military divers have since rescued five of the boys.

A video published by the Thai PBS channel earlier on Monday also showed a person on a stretcher - most likely the first boy to be rescued on Monday - being transferred to a helicopter.

"I feel very happy, everybody is happy", said Hnin Jaiwong, the mother of one of the trapped boys, 13-year-old Sompong Jaiwong.

Rescuers in Thailand on Monday began their second attempt to free the remaining boys and their coach still trapped inside a cave, but warned that heavy rains have soaked the area and they are now in a race with "water and time". A retired Thai Navy SEAL assisting with the operation died Friday after running out of oxygen, underlining the danger of the rescue.

"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.

"You can't make a horror movie that would even compare", said Anmar Mirza with the National Cave Rescue Mission.

"The weather conditions and other environments today are as good as yesterday". Kanet said the boys will be treated as disaster victims and given psychological evaluations and other assistance after their ordeal.

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