Divers Save 8 of the 12 Boys Stuck in Cave

Divers Save 8 of the 12 Boys Stuck in Cave

By Ethan Daniels

photo credit:  Ethan Daniels

A soccer team of 12 boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach have been stuck in a cave for the past 2 week in northern Thailand. After working around the clock to figure out the best way to save all 13 people from the flooded cave system, an international team of rescuers have successfully saved 8 of the 12 boys as of Monday morning, with 4 more boys and the coach still being inside.

The second evacuation operation has been suspended for the rest of the day as rescuers get rest and refill supplies. After the first phase of the rescue mission, the operation was paused for at least 10 hour to refill oxygen tanks.

According to CNN, officials said Sunday that it may “take days” to bring all 12 boys and their coach to the surface. Each boy is being accompanied by two divers and it takes hours to navigate the flooded tunnels through the dark, murky water. The most dangerous part of the journey out of the labyrinth cave system is the first kilometer, during which they are required to squeeze through a narrow flooded channel.

Rescuers need to hold the boys’ oxygen tanks in front of them and swim pencil-like through submerged holes. Having completed this section, the boys are then handed over to separate, specialist rescue teams, who help assist them through the remainder of the cave, much of which they can wade through.

The youth soccer team and their coach were missing about a week before being found huddled on a narrow rock shelf deep in the flooded caves. Not knowing the best way to save the team, rescuers were prepared for the team to be trapped for a few months, but as oxygen levels decreased, months turn into days as rescuers rushed to find a solution.

The recused boys are recovering in a nearby hospital as they wait for their parents.

Written by Clarke Jones