Thai rescue: How doctor chose which boys to save

Arturo Kim
July 11, 2018

Two ambulances left the cave and drove to a nearby helipad, and a helicopter was seen taking off.

"The boys are ready to face any challenges", rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters near the cave site.

18 divers, 13 foreign and five from Thailand, reportedly entered the cave system at around 10am local time. He said the operation began at 10 a.m., and it will take at least 11 hours for the first person to be taken out of the cave.

"Today was the best day, the best situation in terms of the weather, the health of the boys, our water management for our rescue effort", the governor said. Major Saman Gunan, a former Thai Navy Seal who was volunteering for the rescue mission. The fellow classmates and teachers from the same school have described to the press the preparations they have made for the boys.

The boys and their soccer coach have been in the cave for over two weeks.

Narongsak Osottanakorn, who is in charge of the rescue mission, said Saturday conditions were now "perfect", BBC News reports.

The underwater escape option had been considered an absolute last resort but it became necessary when heavy monsoon rains were forecast, bringing with it the possibility of flooding the area where the boys were sheltering.

A spokesman for Musk's Boring Co. tunneling unit, which has four engineers at the cave, said in an email Sunday that Thai officials had requested the device and that divers have determined it could potentially help the children through narrow, flooded cave passageways.

Four boys were rescued from a cave in Thailand on Sunday, the first wave of a highly anticipated mission to save the soccer team.

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The names of the four boys rescued from the caves last night have not been officially confirmed.

"We have a fraction of a second to help them come out", the governor said.

The 12 boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their coach, 25, went missing in Tham Luang Nang Non cave in northern Thailand's Chiang Rai Province on June 23.

■ While the rescue was expected to take a few days, the first boy came out at 5:40 pm (4:10 pm IST).

Another concern for the remaining boys is their health and conditioning to make the arduous trip after nine days without food before they were found by navy divers. And many of them are experienced cave divers, which certainly helps because this is a very unsafe operation.

The first, almost 1km-long section from where the boys have been huddling in darkness is believed to be the most hard, requiring a long dive and crawling through mud and debris, with some crevices barely wide enough for a person.

A frantic rescue mission was hatched in the week since they were found. Thai navy SEALs say four of the 12 soccer team members are out of the cave.

Their condition is not yet known, but all four have been taken to Chiang Rai Region General Hospital some 35 miles south of the cave.

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