Elon Musk’s ‘kid-size submarine’ is headed to Thailand for cave rescue

Elon Musk’s ‘kid-size submarine’ is headed to Thailand for cave rescue

Elon Musk’s ‘kid-size submarine’ is headed to Thailand for cave rescue

Four boys were brought out of the cave Monday and are "safe and conscious", Chiang Rai province acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said.

In a statement released by the government, Mr Paojinda said officials were meeting Monday morning local time about how to extract the remaining nine people from the cave in the country's north. Mr Paojinda said more air canisters were being placed along the underwater route to where the boys and their coach have been trapped for nearly two weeks. "Their re-entry into the world outside the cave will predictably be one of massive attention from family, friends and the media", Auerbach said, noting it could be overwhelming.

Monday's operation began at 11 a.m. and took nine hours, two fewer than Sunday, with rescuers helped by the experience they've accumulated, Narongsak told a news conference punctuated with rounds of applause.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was expected to visit the cave site later Monday, after first travelling south to Phuket, where a boat capsizing resulted in 42 deaths, mostly tourists from China.

The president of soccer's governing body, FIFA, has invited the boys to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday if they make it out in time.

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"The rescue has been vast", said volunteer helper Somjit Saenset, 56. "I want to send my moral support for all involved" in the rest of the mission.

The team became trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the cave after soccer practice and rains flooded the tunnels, trapping them inside.

They spent nine days unaccounted for inside the cave, before British divers found the emaciated and dishevelled group huddling on a muddy bank above the flooding.

The rescued boys had to travel about 2 1/2 miles with oxygen tanks, making their way back to the cave's entrance using a 3-mile rope.

Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite Seal unit made up the main team guiding the boys to safety through narrow, submerged passageways.

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Authorities have said extracting the entire team from the cave could take up to four days, but two straight days of success raised hopes that it could be done faster.

Thai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn described the first rescue as "our masterpiece work" and claimed the four rescued boys were in "perfect" health - despite earlier reports that one was being "closely monitored".

Ten rescuers had put on scuba gear and headed into the Tham Luang cave network about 11 a.m. local time on Monday, Thai officials said.

"Living in a cave has a different environment, which might contain animals that could transmit any disease", they said.

Officials have yet to confirm the identities of the four boys freed. On Sunday, four boys were safely evacuated from the cave.

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Rescuers had planned to take a 10- to 20-hour pause in the rescue efforts to replenish the cave with oxygen and give the team of 18 divers leading the boys on the hard journey a chance to rest. "From what I've seen in the clip, they did look skinny", he said. They are still quarantined away from their parents, who have been able to see them through a glass window but not touch or hug them.

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