Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Thai cave rescue: Foreign divers, SEALs begin operation for trapped boys, coach

Thai cave rescue: Foreign divers, SEALs begin operation for trapped boys, coach

"I talk to them every day, if they'd like us to take the kids out, it has to be in the minimum risk", he said.

"If, as we all hope, they are reunited with their families in the coming days and their health allows them to travel, Federation Internationale de Football Association would be delighted to invite them to attend the 2018 World Cup final in Moscow as our guests".

Tan (nickname Titan): Mum and Dad don't worry about me, I'm fine.

Duangpetch "Dom" Promthep, 13, called on his parents not to forget to throw him a birthday party.

The boys, 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach went exploring in the cave after a soccer game, when monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days. Authorities were waiting for two big groups of volunteer divers to arrive later Saturday and Sunday to begin the operation of bringing the team members out.

Mik: Don't worry about me, I miss everyone, grandpa, uncle/auntie, mum dad and brother/sister, love everyone. I've told P'Yod to get ready to take me out for fried chicken.

The rest of the scribbled letters on pages from a notebook strike a similar message of love for parents and telling them not to worry.

"Once his mission was over he dove back, but in the middle of their return his buddy found Samarn unconscious in the water and tried to pump his heart, but he could not save his life", the SEAL unit said in a statement.

"I love you mom and dad and I want to eat pork shabu". When an experienced and highly trained former Navy Seal dies, you know these are extraordinarily hard conditions they are facing.

A daunting task now awaits both the boys - aged between 11 to 16 - and their rescuers.

Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers finding them for nearly 10 days.

Following a conference with Chiang Rai's Governor, Narongsak Osottanakorn, it has been revealed that no attempt will be made to rescue the trapped Thai soccer team today.

Officials prefer to get the boys out as soon as possible because heavy rain is expected by Saturday.

The boys will have to be taught how to use scuba diving gear and how to navigate a cave that has frustrated even the most expert divers. The narrow passages between the ledge on which they were found and the daylight outside are now filled with the cold, murky water.

A suggestion that the trapped team might have to wait months inside until a safe way out in available - as was the case in 2010 with Chilean miners trapped underground - has met with little enthusiasm.

Although he had left the navy, Saman, a triathlete, felt a calling to join the rescue effort.

Osottanakorn also said that rescue teams have been practising to retrieve the boys for 3-4 days, adding that 13 foreign divers, five Thai divers, five navy SEALS are taking part in the operation.

Getting the boys to dive their way out of the cave has been raised as the most likely possibility, but a retired Thai navy SEAL preparing for that option by placing air tanks along an exit route ran out of oxygen himself early Friday and died.

Billionaire inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk said engineers from his SpaceX & Boring Co. were headed to Thailand to see if they could help.

The large-scale rescue efforts are being carried out amid intense media attention and public interest.

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