Trapped boys not yet ready to dive out, Thai rescuers say

Trapped boys not yet ready to dive out, Thai rescuers say

Trapped boys not yet ready to dive out, Thai rescuers say

Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days. The only way to reach them was by navigating dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents and in oxygen-depleted air. "If (there is) heavy rain and the situation is not good, we will try".

Aside from the high-risk plan for the boys to dive and swim to freedom, the other options include finding an air shaft on top of the mountain from which they could be extracted, or draining the huge caverns of all water so the boys can walk to freedom. The path out is considered especially complicated because of twists and turns in narrow flooded passages.

A former Thai navy diver died working to save 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded cave, highlighting the risks for rescue teams trying to find a safe way to bring the group out after 13 days underground.

Earlier efforts to pump out water from the cave have been set back every time there has been a heavy rain.

May you rest in peace and we will accomplish this mission as you had wished. "The war ends when we win all three battles - the battles to search, rescue and send them home".

Rescuers are now anxious they are too ill to face the hard journey out. I am fine. Please tell Brother Yod to get prepared to take me to a fried chicken shop. But don't worry about me. I miss all of you - grandpa, aunty, mum, dad and everyone. "I promise to take the very best care of the kids", he said in a note given to divers on Friday. "It's just a bit chilly here but don't worry about me".

Bew, Ekkarat Wongsookchan, 14: Dad, mom, don't worry about me.

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Another, of indistinct origin, asked their teacher not to give them a lot of homework.

The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach entered the cave to celebrate a birthday.

Nattawut "Tle" Takamsai, 14, bravely assured his family that he can take care of himself; while Ekkarat "Bill" Wongsookchan, 14, promised his parents to help them at the shop.

She wrote to Ekkapol Chantawong, the coach: "We want you to know that no parents are angry with you at all, so don't you worry about that".

Thai navy SEAL commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew said the volunteer diver, Saman Kunan, had been placing compressed air tanks along an exit route to assist the boys in their escape from the cave.

Four navy SEALs are stationed with the boys to monitor their health, provide them with food and check on oxygen levels.

For the first time since they were found, the boys communicated by letter with their relatives - many camped outside the cave's entrance - with both homesickness and humor.

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"To all the kids", one letter, written by the mother of Nattawut Takamsai, 14, said.

Authorities were waiting for two big groups of volunteer divers to arrive later Saturday and Sunday, after which they'll be ready to begin the operation of bringing them out, said Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn.

The body of Saman Gunan, a former Thai navy SEAL who died during an overnight mission, is carried during a repatriation and religious rites ceremony at Chiang Rai Airport on Friday.

He further discussed ideas over Twitter with James Yenbamroong, CEO of Thai space startup mu Space Corp. on the possible ways that he could work in the rescue mission.

The strategically placed canisters allow divers to stay underwater for longer during what is about a five-hour trip to reach the stranded team.

On Friday, Tesla founder Elon Musk said he was sending teams from his SpaceX company and Boring Co. engineering firm, which is developing tunneling systems.

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