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Commander of the Tham Luang Cave Rescue Say’s Rescue Operations Extremely Challenging

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CHIANG RAI – The Commander of the Tham Luang cave rescue operation has stressed that bringing home the 12 boys and their football coach is extremely challenging, given the circumstances, and despite assistance from local and international rescue teams.

Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn, in his capacity as the head of the rescue operation, told the media during the latest briefing that representatives of various nations have expressed their desire to contribute in terms of lending their expertise, personnel and equipment to the operation to rescue the 13 individuals.

 

Nevertheless, the operational head pointed out that, at the moment, only a handful of highly skilled divers can make it from the third chamber, where an ad hoc command center has been established, to Nern Nom Sao, the current location of the young survivors.

He also touched on another important task of the mission, which is draining water out of the cave. Mr. Narongsak reported that the water level in the cave has been reduced noticeably compared to the early days of the operation, saying that even the downpour on Friday did not affect the water level in the cave. However, he realizes that there is limited space at the current location of the youths and the rescue teams are working around the clock to drain water out of the cave.

The head of the rescue operation also reassured members of the public that officials are constantly delivering oxygen tanks to the 12 young local footballers, their 25 year old coach and the four officials staying with them, while reducing the number of rescuers in the third chamber to decrease the consumption of air supply.

The operational head said that all the kids are in relatively good health, with some having minor injuries and experiencing a degree of exhaustion. Governor Narongsak assured the public that officials are keeping a close watch on the 13 individuals, providing nourishing food and keeping them safe.

Governor Narongsak said rescuers are also upholding safety measures, in order to avoid an unfortunate incident like that which took the life of Petty Officer First Class Sman Kunan.

He also said members of the media at the site are now required to wear an official badge from the center, in order to avoid confusion. Those operating without a badge will be asked to leave the area. They are also urged to present only news based on the information being released by the center.

The Thai Navy Seal Facebook page revealed that the boys sent off a message via one of the visiting divers. The message indicates that they are doing well, while expressing their hopeful wish to be involved in several activities when they get out of the cave.

Meanwhile, a Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Director-General of the Department of Information Busadee Santipitaks has confirmed that some of the members of Elon Musk’s team of engineers have already arrived in Thailand, while adding that one of them is also a Thai national.

The spokesperson said another three team members will arrive tonight and tomorrow.

The engineering team will soon survey the location to determine the best approach to drilling into the cave and making an alternative exit for the stranded local football team and their coach.

By Na-ark Rojanasuvan