Thai boys trapped in cave 'found safe': governor

Tuesday, 03 Jul, 2018

Chiang Rai provincial Governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said the 13 were in the process of being rescued, but he cautioned that they were not out of danger yet.

One of the boys is heard to say: 'Eat, eat, eat, tell them we are hungry.' The survivors then ask what day it is, to which one of the divers responds: 'Monday, Monday. "But the operation isn't over", Osatanakorn said in comments broadcast nationwide across Thailand.

The children, who are aged between 11 and 16, had become trapped in the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai after heavy rain triggered a flash flood that prevented them escaping through a narrow tunnel.

The chief organiser of the successful search for 12 boys and their football coach said Tuesday that discussions are under way on the best and "totally safe" way to bring them out of the Tham Luang caves.

'However we are members of the BCRC and as they do not have a facebook page so we will be sure to pass along all your thanks and good wishes!'

His office said the PM "wishes to thank the tremendous efforts of all global units that have come to assist the Thai authorities in rescuing the youth football team that was stuck in the caves in Chiang Rai".

The MBE was partly for his efforts, along with Mr Volanthen, to rescue French potholer Eric Establie, who got trapped in the Draggonniere Gaude cave system, in the Ardeche region, in 2010.

The group appear to ask when they will be taken to safety and one of the unseen rescuers replies: "Not today".

In this handout photo released by Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center, Thai rescue teams walk inside cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, on July 2, 2018.

"We found them safe. Yesterday, unofficially, we assessed that most are in the green category", said Narongsak.

Aisha Wiboonrungrueng, the mother of 11-year-old Chanin Wiboonrungrueng, smiled and hugged her family as news of their discovery spread. A British diver on the SEAL team told the group, "You have been here 10 days".

Doctors say the boys could survive for many days without food, but much would depend on whether they found water clean enough to drink.

"We, more than 1,000 members of the [entire] team - together we made history for Thailand and even the world", he said.

A park officer first sounded the alarm after spotting the boys' bicycles near the entrance to the off-limits cave complex. Crews of geologists working outside the cave have been drilling into the grottos to create potential escape shafts closer to the area where rescuers had hoped to find the wayward party.

And although officials say the group has been found, there are still challenges for the rescuers to get the boys and their coach out, since high water levels and perilous passageways are still between the two parties. Unable to see, divers felt their way forward through mud and stalactites, grasping around to find small entryways leading from one channel to another.