Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Third rescue mission underway at Thai cave aims to rescue all left

Third rescue mission underway at Thai cave aims to rescue all left

Eight of the 12 boys trapped with their soccer coach in a labyrinthine flooded cave complex in northern Thailand have been freed, authorities said on Monday, adding that the time for rescuing the others will depend on the weather. On Sunday, teams of divers brought out four of the trapped boys but waited several hours before confirming their safe rescue.

At a news conference, Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, said the first four boys rescued, aged 12 to 16, are now able to eat normal food, though they can't yet take the spicy food favoured by many Thais. "Everyone is in high spirits and is happy to get out". We wish them a speedy recovery. Some had infections but otherwise all of them were in good health.

Doctors are taking no chances with their physical recovery, quarantining the group, administering tetanus and rabies shots, and putting two of the team on antibiotics after they showed signs of pneumonia. "We can't visit our boys in hospital because they need to be monitored for 48 hours", Somboon told reporters.

"I've told them once this has died down let's really sit down and have a more in-depth interview on what's really happening", he said.

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Witnesses say the boys freed Monday were treated at a make-shift hospital at the site, before being taken to a local hospital.

"Water levels are the same like the last two days", he said, adding that rescue efforts were expected to faster than they had been before. "But if the rain god doesn't help, then it could be challenging".

Narongsak credited the teamwork of all the local and global rescue personnel, volunteers and agencies that took part in the massive operation and said there was a lesson to be learned for Thailand and the world.

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"Potentially deadly histoplasmosis - a lung infection also known as "cave disease" and "spelunker's lung" caused by breathing in spores from animal waste - is one of several illnesses that medical experts are anxious the 12 boys and their coach could have contracted while trapped deep in the subterranean system". It ended with their fighting cheer, adopted from the U.S. Navy: "Hooyah!"

Plans to turn the rescue operation into a movie are also in the works, with two production companies racing to turn the extraordinary story into a film.

The head of the operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn, said earlier the final operation on Tuesday would be "more challenging" because one more survivor would be brought out, along with three Navy SEALs who have been accompanying them.

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