All 12 boys and coach found alive in northern Thailand cave

Linh Pham  Getty Images

Linh Pham Getty Images

"Thai Navy SEALs have found all 13 with signs of life", Narongsak Osottanakorn, the governor of the Chiang Rai province, told reporters.

The divers brought 200 bottles of oxygen to the cave and left them every 25 meters along the tunnel walls so swimmers navigating the muddy pools with nearly no visibility could stay under for longer.

Eight days into the search, there has still been no contact with the boys, aged between 11 to 16, or their 25-year-old coach since they went off after soccer practice to explore the vast Tham Luang cave complex in Thailand's northern province of Chiang Rai.

"The situation is better today than yesterday and the day before".

The entrance to the cave became flooded, with efforts shifted to finding other ways to access and reduce water in the cave, involving drilling through rock to drain water.

Search teams from China, Japan, Australia and England had also traveled to the area to assist in the rescue operations. Few details had been released about how they found the boys or what condition they were in. "I want them to come back so we can play football together again".

The dramatic week-long rescue has galvanised the nation and prompted emotional outpourings online from well-wishers praying for their safe return. So far we just found them.

"Because the diving distance is about two to three kilometres, we need divers to plant (oxygen tanks) sporadically to provide them with air to breathe from time to time until they reach the destination", diver Narinthorn Na Bangchang, who is assisting the effort, told AFP on Saturday.

James Wang, a member of the Chinese rescue team Green Boat Emergency Organisation, believed they could help with the operation.

Monsoon rains had poured into the jungle in the north of the country as rescuers desperately tried to save the boys.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officer was also deploying with the AFP rescue team to assist with coordination. One group drilled into a 40-metre chimney that led to a muddy chamber and helicopters carrying food, water and medical supplies were dispatched to the area. Nine days later, all 13 have been found alive.

Relatives kept a vigil, with prayers led by a Buddhist monk, near the mouth of the cave.

In this handout photo released by Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center, Thai rescue teams walk inside a cave complex in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, Monday, July 2, 2018.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.