Thai rescuers race to drain water from cave before monsoon rains
July 6, 2018 -- Dwindling oxygen levels and forecasts of heavy rain are adding to pressure on authorities trying to work out a rescue plan for 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.
The death of a former Thai navy diver while on an oxygen supply mission highlights the risks for the boys, who have no scuba diving experience, if authorities decide they should attempt to swim out of the flooded cave.
Officials are warning that oxygen levels inside the cave are falling as rescuers are racing to get more oxygen pipes into the cave.
Rescuers, including international teams, are pondering other ways to bring the group out before heavy rains hit the country’s north which could further hamper the rescue operation.
Rescue alternatives include teaching the boys to dive and then swim out, a highly risky venture, remaining in the cave for months until the wet season ends and flood waters recede, or drilling a shaft into the cave from the forest above.
The boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their assistant coach were found inside the Tham Luang cave in northern Chiang Rai province on July 2, after nine days underground. They went missing after setting out to explore the cave on June 23.