The Latest: Thai SEALs looking after trapped boys in cave
MAE SAI, Thailand – The Latest on the efforts to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in northern Thailand (all times local):
Thai navy SEALs say all 13 people trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand are healthy and being looked after by medics.
SEAL commander Rear Adm. Arpakorn Yookongkaew said Tuesday that seven members of his unit — including a doctor and a nurse — are now with the 12 boys and their coach in the cave where they took shelter.
He told a news conference that his team members “have given the boys food, starting from easily digested and high-powered food with enough minerals.”
He said that having the rescued people dive out of the cave was one of several options being considered. If it were employed, he said they “have to be certain that it will work and have to have a drill to make that it’s 100 percent safe.”
He said there was no rush to bring them out as they are safe where they are.
Thailand’s leader is thanking the international community for their support and assistance in the search and rescue operation for 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha said Tuesday that finding the boys the night before “has created gratitude and happiness for people all over the country.”
He said: “I have to thank the International community in assisting us. This would not have been possible if we didn’t help each other. Everybody did their part.”
The boys were located by a team of British divers who worked closely with Thai navy SEALs and teams from around the world, including the U.S. military.
A top Thai official says heavy rains forecast for the coming days could worsen floods in a mountain cave, forcing authorities to speed up their extraction of the 12 boys and the soccer coach who are trapped there.
Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said Tuesday that the boys may need to swim out using diving equipment ahead of the bad weather.
He said they plan to bring the boys out via the same complicated route through which their rescuers entered.
While efforts are to pump out the floodwaters continue, Anupong said it’s clear some area cannot be drained and in order to get out the boys may need to use diving gear while being guided by two professional divers each.
He conceded that if something went awry, it could be “life-threatening.”
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