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Chiang Rai

Can’t swim, can’t dive. But it’s the only option.

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Can’t swim, can’t dive. But it’s the only option. | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Army doctor Colonel Pak Loharachun on Wednesday prepares inside the cave to treat minor wounds sustained by the football team members – Thai Navy SEALS

“The fittest of the survivors will be the first to come out, others will follow,” Narongsak Osotanakorn, Chiang Rai governor and head of the rescue operations, said yesterday.

Rescuers do not want to delay their exit due to upcoming rains and the possibility of more flooding in cave.

The 13 teenagers and their 25 year old coach are now familiarising themselves with diving gear as rescue planners concluded yesterday that they will have to dive through floodwaters to get out of the Tham Luang cave, where they have been stranded since June 23.

The easing of the flood situation has raised the prospects of helping the 13 footballers come out of the cave where they have spent 11 days.

“The floodwater levels have been dropping by one centimetre per hour. If we can maintain this momentum, it should be safe enough to bring the kids out soon,” Narongsak said.

The US Cave Rescue Commission’s national coordinator Anmar Mirza said that while diving was the quickest option to bring the survivors out, it was also the “most dangerous” option. But the option of letting the survivors stay inside the cave until the floodwaters completely receded was yesterday ruled out amid the significant risk of impending heavy downpours that could again leave the cave flooded.

Can't swim, can't dive. But it's the only option. | News by The Thaiger

The 10 kilometre long cave in Chiang Rai province is normally flooded between July and November every year. On Monday night, experienced cave divers from Britain found the missing football team at a spot about 5km from the cave’s entrance.

The 13 survivors will stay put at their current location while detailed preparations are being made for their safe evacuation. They have been joined by Royal Thai Navy SEALs and are also supplied with soft food, water, light, medicine, thermal blankets and diving gear.

The survivors yesterday started to learn how to wear full-face masks and practice breathing. Medics, including Army doctor Colonel Pak Loharachun, have completed health checks for all team members and found them relatively healthy.

One footballer asked in a video posted yesterday, “Can we go out today?” Pak told the boys to be patient, explaining that despite his diving skills it took him six hours to move from the third chamber of the cave to the current location of the survivors.

The third chamber of the cave, which is about two kilometres from the entrance, is now operating as the forward command of the rescue operations. Lighting and communication devices have been installed there and also supplied with oxygen tanks, medicine and all other necessary supplies. From the third chamber to the flooded T-junction is a distance of about 800 metres. From that intersection, there is a narrow and completely submerged passage that requires rescue teams to dive to get through. The floodwater level there was nearly five metres as of press time. After getting out of this narrow passage, rescue teams have to climb and hike a stretch of 400 metres. This zone is dry. Then, they have to dive for about another 130 metres to reach the so-called Pattaya Beach. Then the team must walk further over the beach before making another 400 metre long dive to reach the slope where the survivors have gathered.

All these survivors will have to be taught to swim and dive before being escorted out. Even with diving experts by their side, the team will have to dive and swim on their own at some points in the journey out of the cave.

A rescue team from the United States Indo-Pacific Command has vowed to support the operations at the Tham Luang cave until all 13 survivors are safely brought out.

Can't swim, can't dive. But it's the only option. | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Chiang Rai

2 Burmese nationals arrested while crossing river into Thailand

Maya Taylor

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2 Burmese nationals arrested while crossing river into Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.orientalescape.com

Border forces have arrested 2 Burmese nationals as they were crossing a river in the northern province of Chiang Rai in an attempt to enter Thailand. There has been an increase in security patrols along the border with Myanmar in recent weeks, as the country experiences a spike in Covid-19 cases. There have been reports of Burmese nationals attempting to enter Thailand without submitting to any of the Covid-19 measures currently in place, including testing and mandatory quarantine.

The latest arrests are of a 20 year old man named only as Saiunkaew, and 30 year old Sailu. Both men were detained while crossing the Mae Sai river, in the Koh Chang sub-district of Chiang Rai.

2 Burmese nationals arrested while crossing river into Thailand | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Saiunkaew says he travelled from Myanmar’s Shan state and claims he was on his way to study at Chiang Mai’s Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya University. He says he paid 4,000 baht to an agency in his home country to facilitate his border crossing. Sailu says he was hoping to find work in Thailand, adding that he paid 17,400 baht to Burmese border officials in order to allow him cross. Both men are now being processed by Chiang Rai Immigration, after which they will be deported to Myanmar.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Crime

Immigration announce the arrest of 18 Chinese illegal migrants in Chiang Rai

Jack Burton

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Immigration announce the arrest of 18 Chinese illegal migrants in Chiang Rai | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: 77kaoded

Immigration officers yesterday announced the arrest of 18 undocumented Chinese immigrants Chiang Rai on August 2, who reportedly attempted to cross the Mekong River from Laos to enter the kingdom illegally. A team of investigating officers from the Chiang Saen Immigration Checkpoint was patrolled the Mekong River area after receiving a tip that a group of unlawful migrants would be smuggled from Ton Pheung District in northwestern Laos via boat.

The 18 were caught as they reached a riverbank behind a restaurant in the Chiang Saen district around 5:50pm August 2. They were brought to Chiang Saen Police Station for an initial interrogation and to arrange a translator, since none of the group any travel documents.

They were initially charged with entering the Kingdom of Thailand without permission and failing to comply with the Disease Control Act, according to an announcement. That order requires that all potential immigrants go through proper channels to enter the country and enter a mandatory 14 day quarantine, amoong other rules and regulations. The commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, told the Thai Associated Press:

“The public health officers did an initial temperature test on all the immigrants and none of them showed a sign of Covid-19 coronavirus infection. The group did not have exposure to the general public as they were caught swiftly.”

“They were detained at the Chiang Saen police station for legal proceedings. Meanwhile, investigators were checking their mobile data and usage of their mobile phones as they might contain useful information regarding people who may have contributed to this trafficking or lead to further investigation.”

Thailand has been cracking down on illegal border crossings and encouraging residents of border towns to report any strangers. Thailand has officially gone 86 days with no confirmed locally transmitted cases of Covid-19, but has identified the danger of illegal immigrants importing the virus from elsewhere as the biggest potential roadblock to staying free of the disease. International borders remain closed for general tourists and only small, select groups of foreigners are currently allowed to enter the country.

It’s unclear why the group were trying to enter Thailand or where they were originally from in China.

Immigration announce the arrest of 18 Chinese illegal migrants in Chiang Rai | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: The Pattaya News | 77kaoded

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Crime

Police: No foul play in Vorayuth witness’s death

Jack Burton

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Police: No foul play in Vorayuth witness’s death | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Police today ruled out the possibility of murder in the death of a key witness in Red Bull drinks heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya’s hit-and-run case. The regional police commander in Chiang Mai, where the witness died in a motorcycle incident last month, said new autopsy results found no trace of any suspicious substance apart from alcohol in Jaruchart Mardthong’s body. Investigators ruled his death a drunk driving incident. A high concentration (218 milligrams) of alcohol was found in his bloodstream.

“All the evidence suggested that it was an accident. We also found no evidence which suggests the driver of the other motorcycle knew Jaruchart before they met.”

The other motorcyclist was identified as Somchai Tawino, but no charges have yet been filed for his involvement in the incident, according to police.

Jaruchart was one of 2 witnesses who told investigators that Vorayuth was driving under 80 kmph when his Ferrari crashed into a patrol motorcycle, killing senior police officer Wichian Klanprasert in Bangkok in 2012. Their testimonies are believed to have contributed to prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges against Vorayuth.

His abrupt death during renewed scrutiny over the case prompted many to believe a conspiracy was involved. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha himself instructed authorities to secure Jaruchart’s body for further examination earlier this month, just hours before it was due to be cremated.

Investigators will also question Pasin Akaradejthanachot, an aide to the former Chiang Mai Senator Chuchai Lertpongadisorn, who stole and destroyed Jaruchart’s phone from the hospital.

Pasin had said to police that he was concerned about the photos of him taken with Jaruchart, which could have affected his campaign for a local election.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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