3rd mission underway at Thai cave, aims to rescue all left

Thailand Cave

Last Friday, an ex-Navy SEAL died while placing oxygen tanks along the 4.7-kilometer (2.9-mile) evacuation route.

On Sunday, divers held the first four boys close to bring them out, and each had to wear an oxygen mask to enable normal breathing, authorities said. A person with knowledge of the rescue said just before the eleventh person was spotted, that 10 people had been brought out.

Rescuers have resumed a rescue operation for a third day to free four remaining boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in northern Thailand.

Four boys and the coach are still trapped deep inside, and authorities have indicated they're continuing with their so-far successful effort to bring the boys out guided by experienced divers.

Narongsak said after the first four boys were rescued that they would be quarantined "for a while because we are concerned about infections". "Their plan is designed for rescuing four".

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Concerns abounded that they could have resorted to contaminated water or been exposed to bird or bat droppings common in the cave. However, senior health official Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk said all of them are "healthy and smiling".

The rescuers have been learning from experience and were two hours faster in bringing the second batch of survivors out on Monday.

But with oxygen levels inside dropping to unsafe lows and the prospect of heavy rains flooding the area completely, authorities decided they had to move quickly and take the group out through the water-filled tunnels.

Mr Narongsak said about 100 people were involved in the operation on Tuesday, including the 19 divers newly sent into the flooded cave.

Narongsak decided on Sunday to launch the rescue operation after being assured the water had receded and the boys' health was improving thanks to nourishment given them by the SEALs team.

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The last part of the complex operation, which has gripped Thailand and dominated global headlines, could put an end to the 18-day saga that started when the team entered the cave on June 23.

British divers found the 13 a week ago.

Health officials say the eight rescued so far are in good physical and mental health but more tests are being carried out.

He said: "The water level is nearly at the same level as for the first two days so we made a decision to carry out the operation for the last batch".

Narongsak said Monday's rescues involving 18 divers and a support team of 100 had taken nine hours, two fewer than the rescues on Sunday.

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The authorites are still keeping the eight rescued boys away from their parents for fear of infection. It is now unclear whether Musk or his technology will be used in the rescue efforts, but Musk confirmed via tweet that the submarine is in Thailand and ready to be used if needed.

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