Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Thai Cave Rescue: Sixth Boy Leaves, Six Soccer Players and Coach Remain

Thai Cave Rescue: Sixth Boy Leaves, Six Soccer Players and Coach Remain

Rescue operations chief Narongsak Osottanakorn described Sunday's initial rescue bid as "D-Day" when it was launched, and there were fears that any one of many potential pitfalls could prove deadly.

Later on Tuesday, however, BBC News quoted head of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osotthanakorn, as saying "the equipment they brought to help us is not practical with our mission". Officials said that rescue operations could continue for two to four more days.

Thai Navy SEAL divers enter the cave searching for the boys.

The ninth, tenth and eleventh boy emerged from the cave on stretchers, according to a witness who spoke to Reuters.

People across Thailand, and the world, have cheered the rescue operation, including at the Mae Sai Prasitsart school where six of the trapped boys are students.

The freed children are all now recovering in hospital and were earlier reported to be in a stable condition.

"Hooyah, today is July 10, 2018", it wrote.

The rescue operation began in earnest on Sunday, with an experienced team of divers rescuing four of the 13 people trapped.

"We expect that everybody will be out today, the children and coach and everybody will be out today", Osatanakorn told reporters. "The boys' strength, the plan - today we are ready like before".

The four who were rescued previously were taken to a hospital in Chiang Rai for evaluation.

It's been dubbed, "the last meal for SEALs" as Tuesday is expected to be the final day of rescue.

"The first day we spent 11 hours, yesterday we spent nine hours, we hope we can do it [today] quicker or at least as quick as yesterday".

However, unlike Sunday and Monday when only four were brought out each day due to logistical constraints, rescuers would try to extract all of the remaining five in one operation, Narongsak said.

To date, each rescued boy has been escorted through the labyrinthine cave by two divers, each of them holding an oxygen tank that feeds to the survivor's mask.

Heavy rain has been intermittent in the region over the last three days but further downpours could disrupt the removal of the remaining boys and their coach.

Two boys among the first group to be freed, who he said were aged between 14 and 16, had shown possible signs of pneumonia and all had low temperatures when they arrived on Monday night.

"Doctors have treated the boys and now all of them are okay and cheerful, and are talking normally", said Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, from the Thai Ministry of Public Health.

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

None of them have fevers, and all are able to eat normal "medical" food, the doctor said, an improvement from the watered-down porridge they were fed when they were first rescued.

Then came the letters carried out by divers who took oxygen, food and medicine to the boys' refuge as experts evaluated whether to dive them out or provision them, perhaps until monsoon rains usually subside in late October.

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