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Boys Trapped In Thai Cave Not Yet Healthy Enough To Escape

A medical evaluation of 12 young boys and their football coach currently trapped in a cave in Northern Thailand has ruled an escape too risky at this point in time, according to a member of the Thai Navy SEALs, who is not authorised to speak with media. It’s also reported that the SEALs have begun pumping oxygen into the chamber.

CNN are reporting that a new doctor’s report has said that two of the boys and their coach are suffering from exhaustion and malnutrition.

This new information surrounding the group, who have been trapped underground for almost two weeks, have emerged as rescuers came up with various plans to get the group out.

The rescue appears to be in a race against time as heavy rains are forecast for the area this weekend. Rescuers appear to be formulating a plan to get the boys out before flood waters rise any higher.

Deputy chief of the Thai Navy SEALs, Captain Supachai Thanasarnsakorn, has said that thirty more Navy SEALs have arrived at the caves overnight to assist with the operation. These rescuers join the eighty Navy SEALs already on the scene.

Rescuers have been working on ways to extract the boys and their coach with minimum risk, including pumping out water from the flooded cave. A firefighter working on the scene has said that parts of the passage leading to the boys was still flooded to the ceiling, meaning the only way in or out is to dive.

“What we worry most is the weather,” said Chiang Rai provincial Governor Narongsak Ostanakorn. “We can’t risk having the flood back into the cave.”

The group of boys, aged 11-16 and their 25-year-old coach entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 23 after a soccer game. They became trapped when monsoon flooding cut off the passage back out. Rescuers found the boys 10 days later.

The boys have been described as being in good health and Thai navy SEALs, including medics, have been staying with them inside the cave.

Narongsak has said that the most important part of the extraction plan is to estimate the risk involved in moving the boys. All 13 of the boys may not be brought out at the same time, depending on their health.

The boys have practiced wearing diving masks and breathing, preparing for the possibility that they may have to dive to get out of the cave.

“This morning, I have asked for 13 sets of (diving) equipment to be prepared and checked the equipment lists and place them inside (the cave) in case we have to bring them out in this condition with less than 100 per cent readiness,” said Narongsak.

However, with heavy rains expected, officials would prefer to get the boys out as quickly as possible. Australia will be sending over more experts to assist in the rescue.

“With the rescue effort at a critical stage, Australia is sending two more Australian Defence Force specialists with expertise in disaster recovery and planning,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop. “And additional senior Australian Federal Police officer will also be deployed to support planning and co-ordination efforts.”

These officials will join six AFP diving experts who have been on the scene assisting with the rescue mission since Saturday.

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