PHOTO: Thai Navy SEALS
“Rescue teams have been giving crash courses in swimming and diving as part of complex preparations to evacuate the footballers trapped in Tham Luang cave.”
Chiang Rai’s Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn says he still can’t be specific as to when and how the survivors would be taken out of the cave where they have been stranded since June 23.
He says rescue teams need to be absolutely certain about the safety of the survivors before deciding on their next course of action, “The physical state of the group is the most crucial factor.”
Divers, medics, counselors and Thai navy Seals spent yesterday with the 12 schoolboys and their 25 year old coach. They brought medication and food while the rescue co-ordinators kept an eye on the cave’s water levels to assess the best way for getting them out safely.
“The water is very strong and the space is narrow in some places. Extracting the children takes a lot of people,” Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn told the media briefing.
“We are now teaching the children to swim and dive,” he said, adding that if water levels fell and the flow weakened, they would be taken out quickly.
The rescue teams are working around the clock to drain out flood waters from the cave and to block fresh water from flowing in. How much water is drained out is also another crucial factor for the rescue teams to determine when and how to bring the boys out.
On another note, Governor Narongsak dispelled rumors that there were changes in the top-level personnel supervising the rescue mission.
“I want to confirm that I am still in charge,” he said, apparently referring to reports that he is being transferred out of Chiang Rai to become governor of nearby Phayao province.
SOURCES: Thai PBS, Reuters, ChiangRaiTimes