Rescue efforts for the Thai soccer team trapped in a cave complex recently took a tragic turn; an ex-Thai navy diver died after running out of air while delivering oxygen tanks to the 12 boys and their coach underground. Add Thailand Cave Rescue as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Thailand Cave Rescue news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died during an overnight mission in which he was placing oxygen canisters along the route divers use to reach the children, Arpakorn said.
During a news conference, SEAL commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew said efforts to revive Gunan failed.
A military operation - called "Wild Boar" - has commenced to rescue the boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach.
He spent a few days gathering equipment and then set off to help with the rescue, by which time intrepid cave divers from around the world had arrived too, swelling the throng of soldiers, engineers, paramedics and other volunteers to up to 2,000, according to the local government.
A former Thai military diver died during operations to rescue 12 boys who are now trapped in a flooded cave in Changi Rai on Thursday night (July 5).
"Although water levels have dropped, the diving conditions remain hard and any attempt to dive the boys and their coach out will not be taken lightly because there are significant technical challenges and risks to consider", the British Cave Rescue Council said.
"According to the plan, if we let them dive out, the most unsafe point is extremely narrow, the boys will have to dive by themselves, the water is quite deep and long at that point and the [Thai Navy] SEALs can't be next to them".
The pumps have managed to reduce water levels in the cave by around 40%, but monsoon showers are predicted this weekend and authorities say they are now "racing against the rain".
On Friday morning forecast downpours held off, giving a glimmer of respite to the rescue workers who are pumping out the water, whilst plotting the complicated extraction plan.
This is a breaking story.
Cave rescue experts have said it could be safest to provide the boys with supplies where they are, and wait for the flooding to subside. "We are calculating how much time we have if it rains, how many hours and days". "May good luck be on our side to bring the boys back home".
The navy is teaching the boys the basics of diving, with a view to guiding them out through flood waters.
"It takes six hours to get to where the children are and five hours to come back (to the cave's entrance)", said Major-General Chalongchai Chaiyakum, deputy commander of the Third Army Region. They had been practicing wearing diving masks and breathing, in preparation for the possibility of diving.
Diving instructor Kristel Golsteyn gives us some insight into the obstacles involved in diving and common issues the divers and youths might face as they attempt to leave the cave.
He showed us some of the tactics divers and SEALS may take to get the youth soccer team out of that cave.
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