Deep waters and rocky labyrinths are among the daunting challenges faced by rescuers hoping to save 12 boys trapped in a Thailand cave, as seen in a new video shot with one rescuer’s headcam.
The footage was published by Britain’s The Daily Mail.
The boys and their soccer coach had been exploring the cave in northern Thailand 14 days ago when they were trapped by a flash flood.
Rescue operations have taken on an added intensity because the onset of the monsoon season in early July could increase water levels in the cave, putting most of the area where the boys took refuge under water, CNN reported.
— CNA (@ChannelNewsAsia) July 6, 2018
“We are afraid of the weather and the (lack of) oxygen in the cave, but we have to try to set the plan and find which plan is the best,” said Narongsak Osottanakorn, the governor of Chiang Rai province.
“The kids are still are able to walk around, play around comfortably,” he said. “If (there is) heavy rain and the situation is not good, we will try.”
On Friday, Thai Navy SEAL commander Rear Adm. Aphakorn Yoo-kongkaew said oxygen levels where the boys are trapped were dangerously low and that action was needed.
However, rescuing the boys from where they are trapped 2.5 miles from the cave’s entrance is no easy matter, as shown in the video footage.
It takes rescuers more than five hours to make the journey and includes parts of the cave that are fully underwater.
In some of those paces, rescuers must take off their oxygen tanks because the passage is so narrow.
The water also complicates rescue planning because the boys cannot swim.
The boys and the coach had been missing for 10 days when they were found, trapped on a rock shelf deep underground, BBC reported. As rescue plans have been developed, the boys have been given food.
Some even wrote letters, telling their parents not to worry about them.
“Don’t worry about me, I’m safe,” read one note from a boy nicknamed Pong.
“Nick loves Mum and Dad and siblings. If I can get out, Mum and Dad please bring me mookatha (Thai barbecue) to eat,” another boy wrote. The messages were posted on the Thai SEAL Facebook page.
On Friday, the rescue operation had its first fatality as one Thai rescue diver died after putting oxygen tanks deep into the cave to help the trapped boys have enough air to breathe, NBC reported.
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