Rain adds urgency to rescue of last five trapped in cave

The members of the "Wild Boars" team, aged between 12 and 16, were guided to safety through the twisting, submerged passages of the Tham Luang cave by a team of worldwide expert divers flanked by Thai Navy SEALs over two days in a meticulously planned operation.

In this image made from video taken on July 8, 2018, an emergency team carries a stretcher believed to be carrying one of the rescued boys from the flooded cave to a waiting helicopter in Mae Sai, Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

"Hooyah", the Thai Navy SEALs, who have played a crucial role in the against-the-odds operation, said in a Facebook post as they announced that a total of 8 members of the "Wild Boars" football team had been rescued on Sunday and Monday. However, doctors later relented after some of the boys asked for bread with chocolate topping.

The boys became trapped in the cave on 23 June after heavy rains caused flooding, but were found alive last week by divers.

The members of the "Wild Boars" team, aged between 12 and 16, were guided to safety through the twisting, submerged passages of the cave complex by a team of global expert divers flanked by Thai Navy Seals over two days in a meticulously planned operation. Two are being treated for a "minor" lung infection.

Thai soldiers try to connect water pipes to help bypass water from the cave.

The third phase of an operation to rescue four remaining boys and their football coach trapped inside a flooded Thai cave began on Tuesday morning (Jul 10), the head of the rescue mission said.

"All eight are in good health, no fever. everyone is in a good mental state", Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the public health ministry, told reporters on Tuesday at Chiang Rai hospital in the clearest update on their condition so far.

The safety of the divers, who have meticulously planned the mission, is also paramount.

The next day (7th July), it was decided by the rescue operation chief Narongsak Osottanakorn that it was not yet safe for the boys to dive out of the cave.

Professor Sarb Johal has worked as a psychologist for 27 years.

Another and perhaps more worrying concern was that oxygen levels in the complex were falling close to risky levels. Their families were being kept at a distance because of fears of infection and the emaciated-looking boys were eating a rice-based porridge because they were still too weak to take regular food, authorities said. The other critical point is around five to six months after the event. "But we will have a psychiatrist to evaluate them".

"But I expect people will follow up with the team and the coach over a period of months to see how they're doing and to offer assistance early, and in ways that are culturally acceptable".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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