Thailand cave rescue: Medics reach trapped boys

Divers make progress in search for 12 boys soccer coach in Thailand cave

Map shows the location where the missing soccer team and their coach were found. But this is only enough to lower the level by one centimeter and more rain is forecast sparking fears it will threaten the air pocket where the team has taken refuge. The Thai navy is already doing this short-term, sending teams with high-protein liquid food to feed the boys, keep them company and explore the cave infrastructure where they are to ensure it is safe.

"We haven't eaten", a boy said in Thai, then in English: "We have to eat, eat, eat!"

"NAVY SEAL will come tomorrow, with food and doctors and everything", the rescuer said. "We needed better cooperation". For now though, Captain Akanand Surawan, a commander with the Royal Thai Navy, said authorities would now supply the group with four months' worth of food and also begin teaching the boys how to scuba dive. "We must bring the kids out before then", said Thai Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda, according to the Bangkok Post.

Attempts are now being made to reduce the risk of over flooding by pumping water from the underground system.

Thai authorities are committed to "100 percent safety" in extracting the boys and their coach from a partially flooded network of caves, Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said Tuesday morning, according to the Associated Press.

The governor said that requests had been made to build "infrastructure" in the cave leading to the pocket where the teenagers and their coach are located.

In an astonishing piece of footage obtained by ABC News, one of the boys can be heard saying "I am very happy", after being discovered by the diver team.

Rear Admiral Apagorn Youkonggaew, head of the Thai navy's special forces, told reporters there was "no need to worry". "You are very strong", the diver responded. It depends how long it takes for them to regain strength. "For people who have never done it, it will be hard, unlike diving in a swimming pool, because the cave's features have small channels", he said. The thirteen people appeared to have been stranded in the dark tunnels by a sudden and continuous downpour after they entered the cave. The search turned tense as time went on and concern grew about whether the group would be found alive.

"Thank you all Thais, thank you all foreigners", he said.

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The boys, who are ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach were found alive on an elevated dry rock about 2 1/2 miles from the mouth of the cave after nine days of searches. But monsoon rains flooded several chambers and blocked their exit.

Narongsak said the team was found between 300 and 400 metres past a section of the cave that was on higher ground and was thought to be where the team members and their coach may have taken shelter.

Divers had to navigate a series of sharp, narrow bends in near-darkness. None of the boys can swim, or dive.

Simple as that question may be, the difficulty of its answer came into stark relief as the sun set Tuesday over Chiang Rai, home of the labyrinthine passages of Tham Luang Nang Non cave.

Bringing the trapped boys to safety is an extremely risky task given the conditions inside.

The Tham Luang complex is prone to severe flooding during Thailand's rainy season, which lasts from June to October. "There is current. The visibility can be zero at times".

Explorers have spent days scouring the mountaintop for possible alternative openings.

Once extracted, the boys and their coach will be transferred to Chiang Rai Region General Hospital, where the entire 8th floor is being held for their arrival. "I want to tell him I'm still here waiting", Kieng Khamleu, said of her son Pornchai Khamleung inside the cave.

After all the efforts, two divers from the United Kingdom reportedly made the first contact with the trapped group at about 10:30 p.m. local time on Monday.

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