Published: Fri, July 06, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Israeli technology providing vital communications link to cave-trapped Thai boys

Israeli technology providing vital communications link to cave-trapped Thai boys

Mr Osatanakorn asked Thai navy SEALs in charge of extraction plans to estimate what sort of a risk would be involved to take them out and "what kind of readiness we can have today and decide if we can take that chance". The boys, many wrapped in foil warming blankets, take turns introducing themselves, folding their hands together in a traditional greeting and saying their names and that they are healthy.

The video lasting about a minute was recorded some time on Tuesday and was posted on the navy Seal Facebook page on Wednesday morning.

The saga of the trapped team has gripped the nation as search efforts snowballed from a small local team to a multinational emergency response.

A team of experienced British divers found the boys alive and safe after they had dived about three kilometers deep in the cave's strongly-flowing subterranean water, said Chiang Rai provincial governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn.

The SEALs, including medics, are staying with the team inside the cave and the boys are mostly in a stable condition after having received high-protein drinks. While they were in relatively good shape, some of the boys complained of being weak from stress and lack of food while others suffered from minor injuries, such as scrapes and cuts. Now the sad update is that it might be risky to try to move them out according to the Navy Seals who are engaged in rescue operations.

Seeing the boys has boosted the mood of their family members, and officials are working to install an internet cable to the cave so that parents can talk to their children.

"It's like he has been given a new life", she said, adding that she will never let her son go into a cave or near water again.

He also said the team is now recuperating.

They have also been shown how to use diving equipment in case they are required to dive in order to get out of the cave. "Those who are ready can come out first", said Narongsak Osotthanakon, governor of Chiang Rai. "Now we are teaching the children to swim and dive", he said.

A firefighter who has been working on draining the water said levels in parts of a passage leading to a chamber where the boys and the coach were found on Monday after going missing for 10 days was still flooded all the way to the ceiling, making diving the only way out.

Thai groundwater specialist Tsanet Natisri told ABC News his team is focused on pumping out groundwater as well as surveying the surrounding area to locate and divert any water sources flowing into the cave complex.

Officials preferred to get the boys out as soon as possible because heavy rain expected by Saturday (Sunday NZT) nearly surely will raise water levels again in the cave, making passage in some areas even more hard, if not impossible.

Unregistered volunteers negligently pumped water back to underground sources and obstructed rescuers' attempts to drain Tham Luang cave as soon as possible to allow the evacuation of the trapped footballers before water rises.

Tanawut he said he does not blame the coach, who he says gave all his food and water to the kids while they waited to be rescued.

The cave complex is regularly flooded during the rainy season which lasts until September or October.

More than 1,000 Thai troops have been joined by rescue workers from all over the world at the Tham Luang cave system in Chiang Rai as authorities consider how best to free the team.

"It seems that's fraught with perils because cave diving's not like normal open water diving", British Cave Rescue Council Vice Chairman Bill Whitehouse told Al Jazeera.

The complex is "snakelike" said Lechler, winding up and down with steep climbs and flooded areas where there would be no choice but to dive.

"Some of the passages are about 8cm in diameter, you can't go through with conventional scuba gear, you have to take off your gear, push through, dig a little bit and zero visibility, feeling your way until you're past the passage". There's currents to battle against in places as well.

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