Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Diver dies in Thailand cave rescue operation

Diver dies in Thailand cave rescue operation

Authorities undertook the unsafe mission to rescue 12 Thai schoolboys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded cave on Sunday and authorities said the entire task may take three-four days to complete.

The rescue started at 10 am Thai time and involved 13 global divers and five Thai navy seals, who were described by Governor Narongsak as "an all-star team", reports the Daily Mail.

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. The rising water filled large stretches of the cave, cutting off the team's escape route and keeping rescuers from finding the team for 10 days, CBS News noted.

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Army General Chalonhchai Chaiyakam said the efforts to rescue all 12 boys and their coach could last two to four days, depending on water levels and weather conditions.

Image: Rescuers searching for 12 missing boys and their football coach say they have all been found alive, officials in Thailand have said. Each wore a full-faced diving mask and was escorted out by two divers. "They have not been moved to Chiang Rai hospital yet", he added. "I promise to take the very best care of the kids", Ekkapol said in a note given to a diver on Friday, and published on the Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page on Saturday. The first group could be out of the cave by 9:00 pm local time (2:00 pm GMT) on Sunday.

A post following the rescue of the first four boys combined Thai and English.

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The boys - cold, malnourished and exhausted - will have to swim large sections of the underground maze and squeeze through tiny gaps, some no bigger than 30cm.

If efforts over the next few days fail, authorities have not ruled out laying an oxygen line and leaving the boys inside the cave for months until monsoon rains clear. 'I know that we, the USA side, are prepared to stay as long as it takes to support the Thai operation.' She added that the core team consists of 17 people.

"This is probably some of the most hard diving there is" in the rescue operation, she said, "and this is the rainy season" with constant fears of more flooding and perilous currents. "Love you all", wrote one of the boys named Mick. "We have tried all possible ways to get the boys out, but sometimes we can't win over nature".

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