Eight boys rescued from Thai cave in good mental, physical state

Sergio Cunningham
July 11, 2018

Elon Musk's "kid-sized submarine" was ultimately "not practical" for helping rescuers save a group of boys and their soccer coach stuck in a Thailand cave, the head of the rescue operation said.

On Tuesday, the final four boys were brought out, along with their coach. The remaining four boys and their coach, along with three Thai Navy SEALs and a doctor who were staying with them, successfully exited the cave Tuesday.

The Guardian reported on Tuesday afternoon local time that a ninth and 10th boy had been pulled from the cave. The first rescue mission of the soccer team commenced on Sunday, July 8.

The rescue missions take almost half a day to complete.

Videos of the boys shortly after they were found showed them looking frail, thin and exhausted. They were given a treat on Tuesday: bread with chocolate spread that they had requested.

The disappearance of the boys and their novice monk turned soccer coach from this small town on the Thailand-Myanmar border - remarkably found alive nine days after they went missing June 23 - launched an extraordinary saga of global cooperation and ingenuity, as experts from many fields planned how to maneuver all 13 out alive.

Rescue teams walk inside cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, July 2, 2018.

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However, the first four boys were safely brought out of the cave on Sunday, tethered to rescue divers. The boys and their coach have to spend time in isolation to protect against the spread of any possible infections they may have contracted while in the cave. "But we will have a psychiatrist to evaluate them", he said, while stressing that the boys are "happy and smiling". He added that all of them were generally healthy and in good spirits, thanks to their "high immunity" from playing football.

"At this moment (there are) no worrisome conditions, everyone is safe", Jesada said. But family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass barrier.

Rescuers have been pumping out flood waters but scattered monsoon rain has raised the danger of more water percolating back down through the limestone and coursing through the tunnels.

Mr Narongsak said: "As all of us said, the main thing is we still need more than 20 hours to get ready".

Narongsak said he was grateful for Musk's support but the equipment was impractical for the rescue mission.

He said he would be leaving the mini submarine behind in Thailand "in case it may be useful in the future".

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