Soccer Team to be Taken out of Thai Cave in Stages

Soccer Team to be Taken out of Thai Cave in Stages

Soccer Team to be Taken out of Thai Cave in Stages

The teenage soccer team trapped in a cave system in northern Thailand will spend another night nearly a kilometer underground, after officials coordinating the rescue said they won't attempt to move them before Thursday.

Meanwhile, His Majesty the King, according to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, said the boys have to be extracted as quickly as possible.

"We worked so hard to find them and we will not lose them", he said.

On the rescue plan, Gen Prayut said there are two methods in which the trapped group can come out.

They have been trapped a vast cave complex for nearly two weeks, and experts are now assessing how they will get them out.

Royal Thai Navy SEALs have been teaching the boys and their coach - none of whom can swim - how to breathe in a full face scuba mask. The boys, many wrapped in foil warming blankets, take turns introducing themselves, folding their hands together in a traditional greeting and saying their names and that they are healthy.

A major operation is under way to reduce the flow of water into the cave where 12 Thai footballers are trapped with their coach. The best option would be to rid the cave nearly entirely of water, which would allow the stranded group to crawl 4km to safety, but they would still need to pass through short underwater passages.

Officials said on Tuesday that the boys, aged 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach were mostly in stable medical condition and have received high-protein liquid food.

The team was discovered after they went missing more than a week ago. In the most recent video, a navy SEAL is shown treating minor cuts on the feet and legs of the boys with antibiotic ointment.

After the initial contact with the British divers - two volunteer specialists who flew in to help with the search - the SEAL team returned to give the boys a meal of grilled pork and sticky rice, along with milk.

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In the meantime, a phone line is being installed inside the cave so the young soccer players can finally talk to their relieved parents after being separated for more than 10 days.

"These are 13-year-old kids, they don't understand their own mortality, they think they're invincible", Black said.

Another is to let the boys dive, which is not easy as the passageways are twisting, he said, adding the group would be taken out one by one while their readiness must also be assessed.

The drill simulated what a rescue would look like and how the boys would be transported to a hospital when they are eventually freed from the cave.

He returned Wednesday to offer prayers for their safe rescue, and as measure of the respect in which he was held, was allowed access to the cave, which is generally off-limits to outsiders.

Thais posted messages of joy and relief on Facebook, showering praise on Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn. If the condition is right and if that person is ready 100 percent, he can come out. A number of boys are seen smiling. He said authorities will evaluate their readiness each day and if there is any risk will not proceed.

About 120 million litres of water had been pumped out by late on Tuesday.

"Some of them can't swim, so therefore it will take time for them to adjust", he said. The monsoon season is expected to last three or four months.

Experienced divers are wary of taking out the boys through the dark and unsafe waters still in the cave, especially since they are untrained.

"It's confined spaces. It's nearly zero visibility". He said they would be brought out via the same complicated route through which their rescuers entered. In that way, the teenagers will only need to hold onto the rope and the diver and breathe through the mask, while the experienced cave divers swim them out, he said.

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