Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Thai cave rescue site cleared to 'help victims'

Thai cave rescue site cleared to 'help victims'

In a letter of his own, coach Ekapol Chanthawong apologized to the boys' parents for the ordeal.

He was brought out of the cave by his dive partner, but efforts to revive him proved futile.

On Sunday, there was a break in the rain and a small window to start the rescue attempt, the Thai government said. They gave a deadline of 9:00 am to clear out, setting off a frenzy of moving and packing.

"They insist they are ready to come out", Narongsak said Sunday of the rescue team.

"We will not let the sacrifice of our friend go to waste", he said.

The boys' conditions were "not that bad" and "they're OK", according to Eve Tapanya from the Tourist Police.

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When the first two rescued boys made it out of the cave, they were placed into ambulances, taken to a helicopter and rushed to a hospital. The group was found alive in a small cave chamber on Monday after nine days, mounting an global rescue effort with experts weighing in from all over the world. According to the AP, the caption on the photo refers to the name of the boys' soccer team and says "We, the Thai team and the worldwide team, will bring the Wild Boars home". The boys were taken to the hospital, Chiang Rai province acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is heading the operation, said in a Sunday night news conference. Even as the world prays, Thai authorities are taking measures to keep them alive.

The boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach have been trapped in the complex cave system since June 23 by flooded passageways.

Operations to rescue the group began Sunday morning, officials said.

As a result, the weakest boys will be brought out first, and the strongest will be rescued last.

"Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the rescue, said Sunday morning was the most opportune time to launch the operation, citing the flawless weather, water and the kids' readiness, physical and mental". Some sections of the cave require climbing equipment, and one section that has been flooded by stormwater is so narrow that divers must remove their oxygen tanks to get through.

Mission chief Narongsak said in recent days that medic teams had complained about the media presence and they told him "it will be a problem if they have a real emergency situation".

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