Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Newest rescues are healthier than first boys freed from cave

British diver Robert Charles Harper British diver Robert Charles Harper Credit REUTERS Soe Zeya Tun
Jeannette Daniel | 12 July, 2018, 09:51

Four members of the youth soccer team trapped for more than two weeks in a flooded cave in Thailand were freed Monday, bringing the total number of boys rescued to eight.

Nargonsak said this phase may take longer than the previous two rescue missions, which took up to 11 hours.

Typically people would learn to scuba dive before embarking on a more technically challenging cave dive like the one involved in the rescue effort, said Chris Foisey, a St. Catharines, Ont. -based scuba instructor with experience diving through underwater tunnels.

But he added rescuers may need more than 20 hours, to replan and replenish oxygen supplies, to be ready to mount the next mission.

Then it will depend on the weather. Heavy rain has struck the region intermittently over the last three days and further downpours could set back draining efforts at the cave.

"Everyone please give us moral support", Mr Narongsak said, to big applause from those present. "And it is up to the environment".

"If Phra Pirun helps us, we might be able to do it very quickly", Narongsak said, again invoking the god of rain, who is widely revered in Thailand. Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha visited the hospital Monday, and spoke to relatives and hospital workers.

After garnering headlines with initial ideas of installing a giant air tube inside the cave complex and using his firm's penetrating radar to dig holes to reach the boys, Musk offered his idea for the mini-sub.

But the death of a former Thai Navy SEAL diver who ran out of oxygen in the cave on Friday underscored the danger of the journey.

More news: This Cat Can't Stop Interrupting a Polish Professor's TV Interview

In a day of high drama, the remaining five boys emerged in groups as evening approached, guided out by worldwide divers and the Seals, who have played an integral role throughout an unprecedented rescue mission.

"The rescue has been vast", said volunteer helper Somjit Saenset, 56. "I'm so happy the children came out safely".

The rest that were rescued on Tuesday are expected to join them.

Chief of the rescue mission Narongsak Osottanakorn addressed reporters at the end of the 17-day mission, arriving at a media center to a round of applause.

Authorities will likely look for signs of Histoplasmosis, also known as "cave disease", an infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus often found in bird and bat droppings, according to the Mayo Clinic.

"We expect that if there is no unusual condition. the four boys, one coach, the doctor, and three Seals who have been with the boys since the first day will will come out today", he told a press conference to loud cheering.

"Doctors have treated the boys and now all of them are okay and cheerful".

Crowds at the teeming rescue site cheer the good news, but attention soon turns to the hard task of getting the boys out safely.

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