Four boys rescued from cave, but rainfall threatens mission
Rescuers have successfully extracted four of the boys trapped in the Tham Luong cave complex, but are in a race against water and time to rescue the remaining eight boys and their coach who are still inside.
CHIANG RAI, THAILAND — Operations to extract the remaining eight boys and their coach from the flooded Thai cave system have resumed, after the first four were safely taken out.
CNN reports that 18 cave-diving experts retrieved the trapped boys on Sunday, guiding them through the cave system, which had been installed with guide ropes and air tanks every 25 meters.
Wearing full scuba masks, wetsuits, and helmets, each boy is escorted by two divers. He is tethered to the diver in front, who is also in charge of his air supply.
According to the Chiang Rai governor, the first boy emerged from the cave at 5:40 p.m., with the second one following 10 minutes later. Two more boys came out at 7:40 p.m. and 7:50 p.m.
All four were transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital, where they are currently being monitored.
Oxygen tanks had to be refilled before rescuers resumed the next phase, which is currently being threatened by heavy rainfall that's expected to continue in the coming days.
Divers are currently on a race against water and time to get the boys out. Monsoon season is only just beginning, which means flooding will likely worsen and hamper efforts to pump water out of the cave.
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