Thai cave rescue sees four more boys freed

Thailand Ministry of Public Health

Thailand Ministry of Public Health

After pondering for days how to get the 13 out, a rescue operation was launched on Sunday when four of the boys were brought out, tethered to rescue divers. The third mission, conducted on Tuesday, concluded with the rescue of the final four boys and the coach.

The Thai rescue effort has been assisted by experts from around the world, and the death of a former Thai Navy SEAL diver who ran out of oxygen in the cave on Friday underscored the dangers of the mission.

Eight of the boys have already been rescued, while four remain.

It is not yet clear what condition those brought out on Tuesday are in.

Denmark's ambassador to Thailand has thanked two professional divers from the Scandinavian country for their voluntary assistance in the effort to rescue 12 trapped boys and on adult from a flooded cave in northern Thailand.

Rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said that the names of the rescued boys have not been released out of respect for the families of those still waiting to be saved.

The second group of four rescued on Monday are aged 12 to 14.

"They are all in good spirits and happy to be out", Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the public health ministry, told reporters.

Experts warned that drinking contaminated water or otherwise being exposed to bird or bat droppings in the cave could lead to risky infections.

He said experience gained during the successful extractions in the preceding two days would allow them to work faster and more efficiently.


The chances of monsoon rains raising water in the cave again, endangering their dry refuge and making the escape route too risky, were never far from the minds of everyone involved.

Rescue leader Narongsak Osatanakorn said at a sudden press conference on Tuesday that the mission began at 10.08 a.m. local time and that everyone in the cave is expected to be rescued today.

The last part of the complex operation, which has gripped Thailand and dominated global headlines, could put an end to the 18-day saga that started when the team entered the cave on June 23.

The first eight boys rescued are in good mental and physical health and are asking for chocolate, officials said Tuesday, although two were on antibiotics after being tested for pneumonia.

Two of the boys had suspected lung infections but the four boys from the first group rescued were all walking around their hospital beds.

He was taken by helicopter and then ambulance to the hospital in Chiang Rai were the first four boys, who were rescued on Sunday, are now being held in quarantine as they undergo tests.

Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the rescued boys. It is now unclear whether Musk or his technology will be used in the rescue efforts, but Musk confirmed via tweet that the submarine is in Thailand and ready to be used if needed.

Musk said the submarine, which is made from the liquid oxygen tube of SpaceX's Falcon rocket, is small enough to fit through the cave system's narrow passageways.

"But in this case there was an openness to making use of foreign expertise".

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