Thai schoolboys not ready for underwater escape

Saturday, 07 Jul, 2018

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.

Players from teams including England and Sweden have recorded good luck video messages for the trapped boys, and Federation Internationale de Football Association has invited the 13 to the World Cup final should they be rescued in time and are healthy enough to travel. 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.

Thai SEAL commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew has said the tragedy won't stop the rescue mission.

He initially said the boys were "ready to go" but then later backtracked by saying they were "not ready to dive".

'We originally thought the boys can stay safe inside the cave for quite some time but circumstances have changed.

"Saman left us while working with his SEAL team brothers at a time where all frogmen put their arms around each other and move forward to complete the mission that is set".

Less than a week later, Saman, a former member of the Thai navy's elite SEAL unit, lost his life as he worked underwater laying oxygen tanks in the cave complex.

Rescue workers now face a race against time to free the boys and their coach. Three of the boys are too small for the wetsuits on hand.

With the rescue team in operation, a footage of the players has been released with the boys, some wearing football jerseys, looking weak yet calm.

Thai authorities say a former navy SEAL working to rescue boys trapped in cave has died from lack of oxygen.

The 38-year-old volunteer died after losing consciousness in a passageway on his way out of the cave.

Authorities in Thailand have been in a race against heavy rains as they try to find a way to extract the group trapped for almost two weeks in the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Thailand, a saga that has transfixed a nation.

The young football team at the centre of an extremely delicate and fraught rescue operation in northern Thailand will remain in the cave they are trapped in for at least another 24 hours.

He said SpaceX and another of his firms, The Boring Company, had "advance ground penetrating radar" that is "pretty good at digging holes".

Kunan's death had changed the mood on the ground and made real for rescuers just how unsafe the mission has become.

If the weather is on their side and enough water can be pumped out of the cave, the boys could get out the same way they got in, on foot, perhaps with some swimming.

Officials prefer to get the boys out as soon as possible because heavy rain expected by Saturday will nearly surely raise water levels in the cave again, making passage in some areas even more hard, if not impossible. Authorities have been considering teaching the boys to breathe through full-face oxygen masks to be pulled out.

It has been suggested that they may need to learn how to scuba dive in order to escape, but none of the children can swim and cave diving is a notoriously risky sport, as emphasised by the death of one of their rescuers, Saman Gunan, a former navy diver, in the caves on Friday.

One of Kunan's longtime friends, Sgt. Anuram Kaewchano, told CNN he was shocked to learn the news. "I feel the need to help, no question", he told Reuters.