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Weekend Reads 9 days of hell: Inside the race to save a soccer team trapped in a cave

10:36  03 july  2018
10:36  03 july  2018 Source:   cnn.com

A Daring Plan to Rescue Boys Trapped In Thai Cave Is Starting to Take Shape

  A Daring Plan to Rescue Boys Trapped In Thai Cave Is Starting to Take Shape A Daring Plan to Rescue Boys Trapped In Thai Cave Is Starting to Take ShapeEarlier this week, 12 Thai boys from a youth soccer team and their coach were discovered by diving experts trapped in an air pocket deep within a submerged cave system. Water levels within the cave complex aren’t expected to drop for months, but a daring plan to rescue the boys is now rapidly taking shape.

A team of six Chinese experts arrives at the cave site in Thailand's Chiang Rai province, according to the Chinese Embassy in Thailand. Climbers shimmy down a chimney into the cave complex, deep in the jungle to the north of the opening where the boys' bikes were found. Drilling is underway in several

A team of six Chinese experts arrives at the cave site in Thailand's Chiang Rai province, according to the Chinese Embassy in Thailand. Climbers shimmy down a chimney into the cave complex, deep in the jungle to the north of the opening where the boys' bikes were found. Drilling is underway in several

Thai rescue teams walk inside the cave complex on July 2.© Tham Luang Rescue Operation Cent/AP Thai rescue teams walk inside the cave complex on July 2. Thai officials plan over a map of the Tham Luang Nang Non caves.© Linh Pham/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images Thai officials plan over a map of the Tham Luang Nang Non caves.

When 12 soccer players and their coach ventured into a Thai cave last month, they left their bikes chained at the entrance. They expected to come back in a few hours.

But they didn't surface from the cave that day. Nor the next day. Nor for another week.

Finally, after nine days, all 13 team members were found safe. But rescuing them may be difficult. It's not clear if the rescuers will be able to drain the cave or divers will have to teach the boys how to dive to get them out.

Thais fight water and oxygen levels in cave as diver dies

  Thais fight water and oxygen levels in cave as diver dies Thais fight water and oxygen levels in cave as diver diesMAE SAI, Thailand — Thai authorities overseeing the rescue operation for 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in the country's north said they have a "limited amount of time" to get them out, as they raced Friday against worsening weather and lowered oxygen levels in the underground complex.

Finally, after nine days , all 13 team members were found safe. But rescuing the 13 people may be a difficult task. Rescuers try to access the caves from overhead locations, using new maps to narrow the search area. Nearly 50 pumps are now at the caves but water levels continue to rise.

A youth soccer team trapped in Thailand’s flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave system for more than nine days were We are now planning how to As Water Rushes In, Crews Race To Save Soccer Team Trapped In Cave . Now, rescue workers from three countries worry time is running out to save

Here's what their grueling ordeal and the search efforts have looked like:

Saturday, June 23: The boys disappear

The weather is clear at around 1 p.m. when members of the Wild Boars soccer team chain their bikes to a rail and hike into Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the mountains of northern Thailand.

They wander deeper and deeper into the cave, past signs warning hikers to stay out during the rainy season that was just about to begin.

Then the rain starts pounding. Hard.

A national park ranger later notices the bikes chained up after the park closed. The search-and-rescue efforts start that night.

Sunday, June 24: Bags and sandals found

Rescuers find bags and sandals inside the cave; rising waters force the suspension of the search in the afternoon, according to the Bangkok Post.

Thai cave rescuers face race against time as oxygen levels drop

  Thai cave rescuers face race against time as oxygen levels drop Expert teams are now under pressure to bring 12 boys and their coach to safety from the flooded Thai cave as soon as possible, as oxygen levels drop.Officials initially thought they could keep the boys and their coach in the cave where they are trapped for up to four months, until waters dropped sufficiently for them to be able to walk out.

Finally, after nine days , all 13 team members were found safe. But rescuing the 13 people may be a difficult task. It's not clear if the rescuers will be able to drain the cave or divers will have to teach the boys how to dive to get them out. Thai soccer team found alive after 9 days trapped in cave .

Thailand cave rescue: How can rescuers free the boys? BBC News. Rescuers Locate Missing Thai Soccer Players, Coach in Cave Complex Wall Street Journal. The Latest: Expert: Many challenges ahead for Thai rescuers Washington Post.

Monday, June 25: Searchers find handprints

Rising waters block the way, leaving the group stuck inside the cave network, an official with Thailand's national parks tells CNN. Rescuers pause the search in the evening because of flooding.

The rescue operation continues eight days after the boys went missing.© Linh Pham/Getty Images The rescue operation continues eight days after the boys went missing.

"Handprints were found around cave's wall. But we still cannot locate the kids," Thai Royal Navy SEALs posted on Facebook.

Rescuers use pumps to pump out the water.

Tuesday, June 26: 'The water is rising all the time'

After a rain delay, the search resumes. Electric cables and ventilation hoses are laid in the cave, the Bangkok Post reports.

Vernon Unsworth, a British cave explorer now living in Thailand, tells CNN he is helping with the search.

"So far as I know, the (Thai Navy) SEAL divers ... have gone into the main part of the cave, but the conditions are very difficult," Unsworth says. "The water is rising all the time."

Thai schoolboys not ready for underwater escape

  Thai schoolboys not ready for underwater escape Authorities in Thailand say that they will not immediately attempt an underwater evacuation of 12 schoolboys who have been trapped in a cave for almost two weeks because they have not learned adequate diving skills in the few days since searchers reached the area where they are sheltering. The official in immediate charge of the operation, Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, indicated strongly at a midnight news conference that if heavy rains started and appeared to be causing flooded areas in the cave to rise again, they would try to take the boys out with divers right away.

A youth soccer team trapped in Thailand’s flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave system for more than nine days were We are now planning how to As Water Rushes In, Crews Race To Save Soccer Team Trapped In Cave . Now, rescue workers from three countries worry time is running out to save

Finally, after nine days , all 13 team members were found safe. But rescuing them may be difficult. It’s not clear if the rescuers will be able to drain the cave or divers will have to teach the boys how to dive to get them out. Cave rescue operation to save trapped boys enters second phase.

Unsworth has explored cave several times and says water is the greatest danger.

"If the children have gone in too far, then the floodwater from the far end will be coming through," he says. "The problem is 3 kilometers in, where there is a big pool of water (that) is getting higher and higher."

Unsworth says due the lack of airflow into the cave, the conditions will deteriorate. "The next 6 to 10 hours will be crucial," he says.

Wednesday, June 27: 'The clock is ticking'

Time is running out, Thai Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda warns. "We will try to find other ways apart from underwater rescue because the clock is ticking," he said. But he's confident the boys and their coach are still alive, he said.

Rescuers try to access the caves from overhead locations, using new maps to narrow the search area. Nearly 50 pumps are now at the caves but water levels continue to rise. A team from the U.S. military's Pacific Command and expert British cavers and divers arrive.

Thursday, June 28: Intense rain hampers mission

Family members celebrate after hearing everyone trapped in the cave is alive.© Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images Family members celebrate after hearing everyone trapped in the cave is alive. Rescuers search for the Wild Boars soccer team.© Royal Thai Navy Rescuers search for the Wild Boars soccer team.

Torrential rain forces searchers to pause for an agonizing five hours. Power is temporarily shut off. Finally, crews are able to restart their efforts.

Thailand's trapped boys: careless or courageous?

  Thailand's trapped boys: careless or courageous? Round-the-clock efforts by rescue teams in Thailand to save 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave have prompted some Thais to turn to social media to ask why they went in at all, and whether they deserve to be called heroes. The junior soccer players, who disappeared in the Tham Luang cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai on June 23, were discovered on Monday by British divers in a partially flooded chamber.

Finally, after nine days , all 13 team members were found safe. But rescuing them may be difficult. It's not clear if the rescuers will be able to drain the cave or divers will have to teach the boys how to dive to get them out. Here's what their grueling ordeal and the search efforts have looked like

A youth soccer team trapped in Thailand’s flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave system for more than nine days were We are now planning how to As Water Rushes In, Crews Race To Save Soccer Team Trapped In Cave . Now, rescue workers from three countries worry time is running out to save

Drones, including some with thermal cameras, are deployed. Heavy-duty pumps are brought in to stem the rising tide of floodwaters.

Friday, June 29: Help arrives from China

Six Chinese experts arrive at the cave site in Thailand's Chiang Rai province, according to the Chinese Embassy in Thailand.

Climbers shimmy down a chimney into the cave complex, deep in the jungle to the north of the opening where the boys' bikes were found. Drilling is underway in several points in the cave complex, primarily to relieve flooding.

Saturday, June 30: Australian help arrives

Australia also deploys a team of six experts from its national police's Specialist Response Group. The team, which typically carries out land search-and-rescue operations, also has experience diving in flooded cave.

Sunday, July 1: The rescue mission continues

The international rescue operation -- including the Thai SEALs, along with experts from at least six countries -- has been working to reach a large, deep chamber, informally known as Pattaya Beach, where the missing boys are believed to have taken refuge.

Monday, July 2: Relief at last

Rescue teams find all 12 boys and their soccer coach alive in the cave, Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osottanakorn says.

But the rescue mission isn't over yet.

"We will drain all water out from the cave. Then we will take all 13 people out of the cave," Osottanakorn says.

"We are now planning how to send (a) nurse and doctor inside the cave to check their health and movement. We will work all night."

The team will likely need medical treatment, including fluids, rescue consultant Pat Moret tells CNN.

"Worse care scenario is they have to dive them out," he says.

It will be a challenge for divers to take the children through the flooded section, Moret says.

"It won't be anything like diving that most people recognize. It will be diving in what is effectively muddy water, possibly fast flowing, with no sense of direction."

CNN's Jamie Tarabay and Mark Phillips contributed to this report.

'Crazy Rich Asians' Director Eyes Thai Cave Rescue Movie .
'Crazy Rich Asians' Director Eyes Thai Cave Rescue MovieWith the Thai cave rescue still fresh in people's minds, Hollywood is steaming ahead with big-screen adaptations of the dramatic story, with two declared projects now in development.

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