Published: Thu, July 12, 2018

Thai official: Rescued boys generally healthy and smiling

Thai official: Rescued boys generally healthy and smiling

The rest four boys and their coach that are still trapped in the cave will be pulled out in a final mission that has resumed on Tuesday. Some are not even strong swimmers, and have had to learn to dive in conditions that claimed the life of a former Thai Navy SEAL on Friday.

Their bicycles were found at the entrance of the cave after parents reported their sons missing June 23, the day that the team visited the cave after soccer practice - fortunately laden with snacks they'd bought en route.

Tragedy strikes: a diver helping to establish an air line to the boys dies after passing out while returning from the chamber, raising serious doubts over the safety of attempting a rescue.

Four boys and their football coach are waiting to make the long and arduous journey out of the cave complex.

"All eight rescued boys today are in good health, none have a fever", Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the ministry of public health, told a news conference in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand.

The boys who were initially rescued asked for basil fried rice, but doctors are instead feeding them soft foods like Congee, a Chinese rice porridge.

Narongsak Osatanakorn says the rescue mission began at 10.08 a.m. and involves 19 divers. He said a medic and three SEALS in the cave, who've been looking after those trapped, will also come out.

The head of the operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn, said a final operation would be "more challenging" because one more survivor would be brought out than the previous two operations, along with three Navy SEALs who have been accompanying them.

It's unclear whether Thai officials will opt to use Musk's submarine to rescue the four remaining boys and their soccer coach.


Yet initial reports suggest the eight boys, aged 12-16, were in good shape, despite spending more than a fortnight underground.

"The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems", Jedsada said.

They will only be allowed close contact once all test results have come back clear.

Four boys and their soccer coach remain in the cave.

Workers have been laboring around the clock to pump water out of the cave, and officials said Monday that despite heavy downpours overnight, water levels inside the cave did not rise.

The second group of 4 that were pulled out afterwards are aged between 12 and 14. He also instructed them to collect drinking water from the cave walls instead of from floodwaters. The first rescue mission of the soccer team commenced on Sunday, July 8.

Rescuers in Thailand ended day two of their mission with four more boys freed from the Tham Luang caves on Monday.

Technology billionaire Elon Musk went into the cave on Monday and left the rescue team with a "kid-sized" submarine his company SpaceX had built, Thailand's interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said.

The tech entrepreneur tweeted Tuesday morning he'd "Just returned from Cave 3", referring to the rescuers' command center inside the sprawling cave.

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