A major breakthrough in the massive effort to save 12 boys and their soccer coach who have been trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand since June 23rd. Four of those boys have now been rescued but the operation to save the others inside the cave has been put on hold.
The rescue mission has been suspended for now until search teams refill oxygen tanks inside the cave, but a sigh of relief for families of four of the boys who have been saved so far. Doctors say they are recovering.
Ambulances carrying three boys from the Tham Luang cave were escorted by police to hospital for medical treatment.
Another being transported by helicopter.
Nine boys, between the ages of 11 and 16, and their 25 year old soccer coach are still inside the cave waiting to be rescued.
The soccer team and coach became stranded when they went exploring inside the cave after a practice back on June 23rd.
Monsoon rains flooded the cave preventing the team from getting out.
They were left without food for nearly 10 days before rescuers finally found them on July 2nd.
Dozens of crew are needed to support these rescue efforts doctors have been concerned about the health of the boys.
It’s a total of four kilometers from the entrance to where the boys are trapped.
To get there, search and rescue teams including at least 90 divers have to pass through more than two-kilometers of narrow, flooded tunnels.
The mission is risky.
Some sections are extremely tight, as small as three feet wide and two feet tall.
To complicate matters more, the boys can’t swim which is normal for southeast Asian culture.
Navy seal officers, two Thai and one international, stopped to pray and lock arms before going inside the cave to begin their rescue efforts.
a retired Thai navy seal officer died on Friday while inside the cave planning out the rescue mission when he ran out of oxygen.
The soccer team’s coach wrote to the parents of the group saying he promises to take care of them as best he could, thank you for all the support and I deeply apologize to the parents.
The parents had written to the coach earlier, assuring him that they did not blame him for the situation.
Rescue teams need at least 10 hours to get ready for the next phase of their mission.
Military and local officials believe the rescue of the remaining boys and their coach could take several days, as they are being brought out one at a time.
Reports from Thailand say there are at least five emergency response doctors waiting for the boys to be pulled from the cave and another 30 are on standby.