Narrow passages, flood waters: What Thailand's trapped boys face coming out

Narrow passages, flood waters: What Thailand's trapped boys face coming out

Narrow passages, flood waters: What Thailand's trapped boys face coming out

The 12 boys and their coach are seen in the video sitting with Thai navy SEALs in the dark cave.

The boys appear to be in good spirits in a new video released on the Facebook page of Thai Navy SEAL.

As Thai navy seals continue to give their crash courses in swimming and diving to the 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave, it's been revealed there may be another way out.

Rescuers braced for a hard evacuation for 13 members of a Thai youth football team found alive in a cave nine days after they went missing, as a phone cable was hurriedly fed into the underground chambers in the hope of allowing them to speak to their families for the first time since their ordeal began.

The group are still trapped because the way back was flooded.

While efforts to remove enough water from the caves to allow the stranded team to simply walk out are ongoing, Thai Navy SEALs who were able to reach the boys are teaching them how to scuba dive. "Thirteen? Brilliant", a diver is heard saying in video footage that shows the moment the boys were found perched on a ledge inside the cave complex. Several of the boys are seen smiling as they interact with the navy SEAL, who cracks jokes.

Seeing the boys has boosted the mood of relatives, and officials are working to install an internet cable to the cave so that parents can talk to their children.

Tham Chanthawong, the aunt of the 25-year old coach Ekapol Chanthawong, said that prior to becoming a football coach, her nephew spent a decade as a saffron-robed Buddhist monk.

"It's like he has been given a new life", she said, adding that she will never let her son go into a cave or near water again.

On Tuesday, rescuers said it could take up to four months to get the team to safety.

Some of the boys do not know how to swim and flooding in the caves means the boys would likely have to dive to be able to escape, which rescue experts say could be extremely risky, especially for people with no experience with scuba gear.

More rain is forecast this weekend, putting pressure on rescuers to formulate a plan to remove the boys before flood waters rise any higher.

Chiang Rai provincial governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said that "all 13 may not come out at the same time".

He said on Wednesday: 'Anyone who is ready first will be brought out.

He said any extraction has to be "100 percent safe".

However, they were still attempting to connect them Thursday after earlier efforts failed when the line became damaged after falling into water.

A firefighter who has been working on draining the water said that levels in parts of a passage leading to a chamber where the boys and the coach were found was still flooded all the way to the ceiling, making diving the only way out. "What we worry about most is the weather", Narongsak told reporters.

Per the Associated Press, significant rain is expected Saturday, which has created urgency to get them out as quickly as possible.

'The first plan is to reduce the water level and get them out but if we can't, we will have a backup plan. And this stretcher, once in the water, weighs nothing.

The concern is that the rainy season has only just begun, so water levels in the Tham Luang cave will nearly certainly continue to rise.

Torsten Lechler, a diving technical adviser from Germany who is assisting the rescue team at Mae Sai, said one option would be to teach the boys very basic skills, such as getting used to wearing diving equipment and breathing through masks.

The divers will use a static rope attached to the cave walls to help guide each boy one-by-one through the cave system of completely flooded chambers and those with air pockets.

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