Thai Cave Rescue: How Elon Musk's 'Kid-Size' Submarine Could Assist Mission

Ruben Hill
July 9, 2018

"All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday, " Narongsak told a news conference.

On July 6th, former Thai Navy diver, Petty Officer Saman Gunan died while helping deliver oxygen to the team.

The anxious families say they have forgiven 25-year-old soccer coach Ekapol Chanthawong who led the boys on what was supposed to be an innocent adventure in cave exploring more than two weeks ago.

Musk on Sunday shared photos and videos of a small submarine-like vessel that could help rescue the group stranded on a muddy ledge about 2.5 miles from the cave's main entrance, and about half a mile below the surface.

A team of 90 expert divers - 40 from Thailand and 50 from overseas - have been involved in the intricate rescue operation.

Extracting group could take three to four days.

"If we wait and the rain comes in the next few days we will be exhausted again from pumping and our readiness would drop".

Narongsak, who is heading the operation, said earlier Sunday that 13 foreign and five Thai divers were taking part in the rescue, and two divers were to accompany each of the boys, all of whom have been learning to dive only since Monday, when the first searchers found them.

The good news today, he said, was that the rescue team spent nine hours - two hours faster than they did a day earlier - from the time they went deeper into the cave to extract the four survivors until they emerged safely from the cave.

Officials have yet to confirm the identities of the four boys freed.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrived in Chiang Rai and visited the eight rescued boys in the hospital Monday night, according to Osatanakorn.

Four were rescued over the weekend.

Their escape led to an explosion of jubilation on social media in Thailand as the rescued boys were rushed to hospital. There was no word on the condition of any of the people brought out on Monday. Multiple calls to senior government officials and military personnel leading the rescue operation rang unanswered Monday evening.

The ordeal has riveted Thailand and captured the world's attention.

The four boys pulled from the cave Sunday in an urgent and risky operation that involved them diving through the cave's tight and twisting passages were in good health.

The fifth boy was taken by helicopter to Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital in the provincial capital Chiang Rai, while the sixth remained inside a medical tent before being moved. They have not been reunited with their families yet due to infection concerns.

One option, he offered, included inserting a tube or a series of tubes through the Tham Luang cave network and inflating them, creating a tunnel for the boys to travel though without needing to scuba dive.

"We have not been told which child has been brought out".

After Musk received an outpouring of gratitude for his rescue plans, he replied: "Thanks, we've not done anything useful yet".

Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osattanakorn said the second phase began at 11 a.m. and authorities "hope to hear good news in the next few hours".

The cave complex is off-limits during the rainy season, which usually runs from May to October, when downpours can quickly flood it.

Complex and narrow, the system is not dissimilar to the caves being navigated by rescue divers in Thailand.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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