Thai cave rescue stalled due to rain forecast

Arturo Kim
July 9, 2018

Twelve boys who have been trapped inside a Thai cave for over two weeks have written a series of heartbreaking notes to their families.

Gong Hui, a Chinese diver involved in the operation that has drawn some 130 Thai and global divers, told Reuters on Saturday before the fresh rains that water levels in the cave had "receded a lot" after sustained pumping had removed millions of litres of water.

"To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care".

It was announced yesterday that divers would take letters between the boys and their relatives so they could communicate, which Thai navy Seal divers posted to Facebook.

"Thank you for all the moral support and I apologize to the parents".

The coach's role in the team's predicament has split Thai social media.

A proposal that the boys and their football coach could stay in the cave to wait out the four-month monsoon season now appears less likely to be feasible.

A team of experienced Thai mountain climbers - members of a community who scour hillsides collecting bird's nests - also joined the effort to look for openings in the mountain.

Boys trapped in a Thai cave wrote letters to their parents on Friday, telling them to "be strong" and not to worry. "The boys are ready to face any challenges", Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters near Tham Luang cave, where the 12 boys and their coach have been trapped for more than two weeks. His family are shopkeepers.

"I'm fine. It's a little cold here". The boys have not yet been able to hear their parents' voices, though anxious relatives waiting outside the cave have been able to see the boys through videos shot by rescue divers. If I can get out, Mum, Dad please bring me mookatha (BBQ) to eat. Grandpa, uncle, mum dad, and siblings I love you all.

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The 12 boys, ranging in age from 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old assistant coach disappeared on June 23 after soccer practice. Joining the British are other cave experts from around the world and teams from the US, Australia , China and elsewhere.

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"I love you mom and dad".

The coach also wrote to his relatives waiting on the outside, "To my aunt and grandmother, I am doing well, please don't be too anxious about me".

The group were found inside the cave by British rescue divers on Monday, 10 days after they went missing.

Tee: Don't worry, I'm so happy. "I'm nearly crying", Night's mother Supaluk Sompiengjai told AFP.

The children urged relatives "not to worry" and asked for their favorite foods once they are safely evacuated.

She may have some way to go.

The boys are also being trained in the basics of diving in case the floodwaters force authorities into a sudden evacuation through twisting and jagged passageways.

The group became trapped in the cave system known as Tham Luang after they ventured in to celebrate a victory following a soccer match.

Rescue teams have been pumping millions of liters of water from the cave in an attempt to lower water levels to the extent that the boys can simply walk out.

The group was found Monday after a dramatic search and rescue that gripped the world, but authorities have warned that getting them out will be a fraught and hard process, especially since none of them can swim and could panic if they had to dive out, with potentially deadly consequences. Teams are drilling multiple shafts through hundreds of metres of mountainside to try to reach them while industrial pumps are working round the clock in an attempt to clear the tunnels and hopefully allow them to escape by foot.

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