Trapped Thailand boys will be taught to dive to escape caves

Rescuers are now considering four options to extract the boys. The latter option may take several months.

The plight of the boys and their coach has captured the world's attention. But the floodwaters cut off their path of escape.

The point is between Pattaya Beach, a few hundred metres from where the boys were found, and the T-junction, according to Thai divers assisting in the operation.

Watch below: Some videos from Global News' coverage of a soccer team trapped in a cave in Thailand.

There is no simple way to save the trapped team. "But water continues to flow in, no matter how many holes have been blocked, water still continues to pour in".

The navy source dismissed reports the water level inside the cave had dropped by 40 per cent.

Many have questioned how the children can be brought out if it took even expert divers 9 days to reach them.

The last option could be protracted as the monsoon begins to bite and officials say they have stored food, medicine and equipment to last for up to four months at an underground base.

According to Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osatanakorn, the rescuers are working on a way to safely get the team out of the cave.

On July 2, the Thai Navy SEALS, and two British cave diving experts found them alive, deep inside a partially flooded part of the cave.

The boys are believed to have entered the cave after practice on June 23 with their assistant coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, on what was meant to be a half-day trek. "It floats and can be easily maneuvered by two experienced divers".

"The water is very strong and space is narrow".

They're drilling through rocks to make room for hoses, which have already helped remove more than 31 million gallons of water.

A video shared by the Thai Navy captured their first contact.

The British divers described their three-hour round-trip into the cave as challenging because of the murkiness of the water. And the answer to that question underground, if it is completely flooded passages, is no.

But such a rescue would be fraught with risk, say experts. Thai authorities called on them to help.

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn urged rescuers to move faster, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told the Bangkok Post newspaper.

Volanthen, a computer engineer, told the Sunday Times in 2013 that the secret to cave diving was keeping a cool head.

"The last thing you want is a panicking diver in a cave, they would not survive that".

A limestone cave complex is like a giant sponge, said Amy Frappier, a professor of geosciences at Skidmore College who has done extensive research in caves.

"If he can do it, you can do it", said Watson.

That appears to be what happened here: The boys and their coach walked into the cave, and then the rain came.

He said it is unknown when an extraction could be attempted, but it is unlikely to be Wednesday.

The boys and the coach are no longer alone.

"When the telephone line is ready, we will have relatives talk to them". That's obviously risky. Yookongkaew said authorities "have to be certain that it will work and have to have a drill" to make sure "it's 100 percent safe", the AP reported. Much of the treacherous route into the cave is flooded, meaning the boys will either have to learn diving skills or wait for the water to recede at the end of the rainy season in October.

Narongsak Osottanakorn, the governor of Chiang Rai province where the cave is located, said the boys are in stable health condition and that a communications system is being installed to allow them to speak with their families soon for the first time since their disappearance.

She said the rescue is reaching a "very critical stage".

A team of divers, medics, counselors and Navy SEALs have been staying with the team in the cave since they were found on Monday after a nine-day search.

"The pressure we are experiencing comes from working against the weather, as the forecasts tell us there will be heavy rain in this area within 48 hours", he said.
"They may try to bring them out at night".


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