Thailand Cave Rescue: First Two Trapped Schoolboys Are Saved - Reports

Two of 12 schoolboys trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand have been brought to safety, a local official is reported as saying.“Two kids are out. They are currently at the field hospital near the cave,” said Tossathep Boonthong, chief of Chiang Rai’s health department and part of the rescue team.“We are giving them a physical examination. They have not been moved to Chiang Rai hospital yet,” Tossathep told Reuters. Sometime afterwards, the Press Association reported that two ambulances had been seen leaving the cave. A helicopter flies from #ThamLuang cave complex towards Chiang Rai's city centre following reports of first two boys successfully evacuated. They'll be sent to a hospital for medical care https://t.co/Nz93mYEwJjpic.twitter.com/WVRlAFlSMX— Pichayada P. (@PichayadaCNA) July 8, 2018Along with their coach, the boys have been trapped deep inside a cave for two weeks before a rescue was launched on Sunday. “Today is D-Day,” Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the rescue mission, had earlier told reporters.Five Thai divers and 13 foreigners are taking part in the strategy, which will see each boy accompanied by two divers. Elite British divers, Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, are believed to be part of the team.Each journey will see the children, some as young as 11 and not strong swimmers, navigating dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents, as well as oxygen-depleted air.  Thai cave rescue underway: officials confirm operation has begun – live updates.Pray for Thailand 12 Boys & Coach. pic.twitter.com/TFuibbFS4U— Musthw Dawwg (@Musthw) July 8, 2018Experienced cave rescue experts considered an underwater escape a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving, as the boys are. The path out is considered especially complicated because of twists and turns in narrow flooded passages.But the governor supervising the mission said earlier that mild weather and falling water levels over the last few days had created optimal conditions for an underwater evacuation that will not last if it rains again.Earlier in the week divers brought notes from the boys to their families, in which they urged them not to worry and asked to be taken out for fried chicken when they returned. The coach who led the boys into the cave has also apologised in a handwritten letter. Bursts of heavy monsoon rain soaked the Tham Luang Cave area in northern Chiang Rai province on Sunday and storms were expected in the coming weeks, increasing the risks in what has been called a “war with water and time” to save the team.The boys, aged between 11 and 16, went missing with their 25-year-old coach after soccer practice on June 23, setting out on an adventure to explore the cave complex near the border with Myanmar and celebrate a boy’s birthday.Rescuing them all could take three to four days and depended on the weather, an army commander involved in the mission said.The first rescues were not expected to have been completed for several hours, though a reporter at the scene said lowered water levels had decreased the journey time out of the cave. The boys, who are part of a football team, have been invited by Fifa president Gianni Infantino to the World Cup final in Russia, should they be healthy enough to travel.Rescue teams at the entrance of the cave saying the lowered water has decreased the journey out of the cave as many chambers are walk-able right now.— Florian Witulski (@vaitor) July 8, 2018

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