FIFA boss invites Thai cave boys to World Cup final

09 July, 2018, 11:38 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Navy diver dies in attempt to deliver supplies to boys trapped in Thai cave

Authorities in Thailand say that they will not immediately attempt an underwater evacuation of 12 schoolboys who have been trapped in a cave for nearly two weeks because they have not learned adequate diving skills in the few days since searchers reached the area where they are sheltering.

This could not be independently corroborated by Reuters, but Narongsak, a former provincial governor, told reporters earlier on Saturday that the next three to four days was "the best and most ideal time for the rescue operation".

The global rescue operation team included the Thai Navy SEALs and experts from the US, China, Australia and the UK.

But Thailand's Navy SEAL commander indicated that rescuers may have little choice but to attempt the tricky extraction of the group, in the first official admission that they can not wait out the monsoon underground.

But some involved have pointed out that the team has been in Tham Luang before they and their coach went in on June 23 and were trapped by floodwater, so the familiar terrain might help.

Narongsak said experts, who themselves have made the hard journey, were teaching them the rudiments of diving, but that the boys were not yet capable of an arduous and complicated mission.

They are hoping that an upgraded draining effort can lower the water in an area where it is still at or near the ceiling.

The unprecedented rescue mission has been dogged by the threat of rains, which complicate pumping water out of the cave system.

"On his way back he lost consciousness", Mr Yookongkaew said, adding that a friend had tried to help bring him out.

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Authorities have been racing to pump out water from the cave before more storms in the coming days raise the water levels again.

"We are afraid of the weather and the oxygen in the cave", he said. "Finding the boys doesn't mean we've finished our mission".

An experienced former Thai Navy Seal assisting with the rescue died after running out of oxygen, raising fears that it was far from safe for the kids to make the attempt.

The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place oxygen canisters along the route to where the boys and others are sheltered.

The 38-year-old retired diver, whose own oxygen ran out, was found unconscious about 1 a.m. Friday about a half-mile from where the young boys are huddled. Dozens of locals are serving up food, water and medicine to rescue teams and the scores of media members who have descended on the remote forest park.

Rafael, 53, who is from Israel but has lived in Thailand for more than 30 years, said he had been inside the cave 25 years ago and found that it was more hard to navigate than other caves he had tackled. Fox, who works with an aid foundation, has lived in Thailand for 14 years and speaks fluent Thai.

The worsening conditions concern rescuers and volunteers.

Pornphimon Pansurin, a counselor from the nearby Darunrat School who teaches Ekarat Wongsukjan, one of the missing boys, said the missing boys may feel responsible for the tragedy.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp urged them to "stay strong and know we are with you", in a video message sent to CNN.

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