Remaining boys, coach, doctor trapped in Thailand cave 'to be rescued today'

Thursday, 12 Jul, 2018

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces said that he was glad to hear that the rescue operations were successful.

Importantly, as of the time of this writing, eight of the 13 trapped people have already been saved by the heroic actions of rescue divers and support teams.

The generals and other officials overseeing the desperate operation to rescue 12 young soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave labyrinth in Thailand's sweltering far north were only half joking when they quipped Monday that success was in the hands of the rain god Phra Pirun.

Last Friday, an ex-Navy SEAL died while placing oxygen tanks along the 4.7-kilometer (2.9-mile) evacuation route.

"This has been the largest, most complex cave rescue in history". Tuesday's operation began just after 10am.

Rescuers had weighed several options to save the boys, including keeping them in the cave through the months-long monsoon season.

"It might be because they were all together as a team, helping one another out", public health ministry inspector-general Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong told reporters, singling out their 25-year-old coach for keeping their spirits high.

The global bid to extract the team garnered attention from around the world after the team found themselves trapped on June 23 when they entered the cave after practice and were blocked by floodwaters.

Mr Narongsak said about 100 people were involved in the operation on Tuesday, including the 19 divers newly sent into the flooded cave.

A Thai health official said earlier Wednesday that the soccer teammates had lost weight during their two-week ordeal, but had water while they were trapped and remained in good health.

Four more of the boys were carried on stretchers out of the labyrinthine Tham Luang cave on the Myanmar border at dusk on Monday, bringing to eight the number brought out so far after two rescue pushes on successive days.

Jedsada said the group had been given x-rays and blood tests, adding that the two who presented suspected symptoms of pneumonia were "in a normal state".

Dr Jesada said the first group taken out, on Sunday, were aged 14 to 16 and the second group, taken out on Monday, were aged 12 to 14.

Family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass isolation barrier, and Jesada said doctors may let the boys walk around their beds on Tuesday.

"We have been informed by the Football Association of Thailand that due to medical reasons, the boys will not be in a position to travel to Moscow for the World Cup final".

They have also been given sunglasses to wear as they adjust to daylight after days trapped in the dark.

"If the rain god helps us, then we may be able to work fast", the head of the rescue mission, Narongsak told reporters.