Escape by diving 'not suitable' yet for boys in Thai cave

Ekapol Chanthawong on a trip with the Wild Boars to a meditation trip

A decision timeline was unknown.

Officials vowed to investigate the death, and have sent the body to a local hospital for an autopsy.

"It's very narrow. The way divers have to work is not a normal way of diving".

USA dive and medical personnel will support the proposed operation by staging equipment and setting up triage stations, but will not go beyond the third chamber inside the cave, according to the document.

The huge operation to rescue the group involves scores of Thai Navy SEALs, in addition to experts and volunteer divers from parts of Europe and Asia, as well as Australia and the US. The group is now learning how to breathe underwater using dive equipment, he said.

Rescuers have been working to pump water out of the cave. He could not be revived and was confirmed dead early Friday morning.

The death of the Thai diver, Saman Gunan, underscored the risks of making the underwater journey. The comments came hours after a former navy SEAL working on the rescue passed out while diving and later died.

A planned operation to potentially "buddy dive" the group out of the cave, which the United States was going to support by pre-positioning air tanks in the seventh chamber, was cancelled due to the Gunan's death and the associated risks, according to the internal USA government report. A fourth possibility would be to find an alternative way into their chamber.

Officials would prefer to get the boys out as soon as possible because heavy rain expected by Saturday will nearly certainly raise water levels again in the cave, making passage in some areas even more hard, if not impossible.

The risks involved in getting them out are said to remain high but the boys and their teacher appear upbeat in their messages.




The level of oxygen in the cave where the boys are trapped has dropped to 15 per cent.

He said that the last time the two spoke, "we talked about the kids - whether they were out yet".

Croatia's national soccer team, which is competing in the ongoing World Cup, has offered its "support and love" to the young Thai soccer team trapped in a cave.

A spokeswoman for the Boring Company who declined to be named said it is in talks with the Thai government and people on the ground to determine how they could best assist their efforts.

The boys, 11 to 16, and their coach went exploring in the cave after a football game on June 23. It's believed the coach often took the Wild Boar teammates to the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park for fun excursions after practice.

The rescue operations took a disgusting turn as officials acknowledged that the boys are falling short of oxygen on Friday morning.

This comes as the rescue operations are underway for the footballers who were found by British divers on late Monday night, with footage showing them visibly weak and huddled on a mud mound deep inside the cave.

Thai navy SEAL commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew said the volunteer diver, Saman Kunan, had been placing compressed air tanks along an exit route to assist the boys in their escape from the cave.

"We can no longer wait for all conditions [to be ready] because circumstances are pressuring us", he told reporters.

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