Authorities Speed Up Efforts to Rescue Thai Youth in Cave

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Robert Charles Harper, left, and diver Richard William Stanton, middle, at Tham Luang Nang Non in Chiang Rai last week.

The boys and their coach are not in danger of drowning.

It remains unclear whether any of the group are injured or in need of medical attention, but they have been given energy gels to sustain them while a plan is worked out to bring them to safety.

"We will continue to support the Thai Navy SEALS in the best way we can".

"We have given the boys food, starting from easily digested and high-powered food with enough minerals", Arpakorn told a news conference.

Experts have cautioned that any attempt to traverse the confined passages will be fraught with difficulties and potential complications, especially if the children can't swim.

While efforts to pump out floodwaters are continuing, it's clear that some areas of the sprawling cavern can not be drained, said Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda, a member of Thailand's ruling military junta.

It now seems swimming with SCUBA gear through muddy water in the dark cave is the only exit - with added urgency to begin before rain raises the water again. The boys are being entertained, and a phone line is being installed to permit them to speak with their families, the BBC reported.

The governor said that requests had been made to build "infrastructure" in the cave leading to the pocket where the teenagers and their coach are located.

"You are very strong", one of the rescuers says to them in English.

As the nation continued to rejoice at the news of all the boys, who are aged 11-16, being found alive at 9.38pm on Monday night after an exhausting 10-day search, spirits were dampened at the prospect of having to keep them in the labyrinthine cave network in Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district for up to four more months due to the coming monsoon.


The video lasting about a minute was recorded sometime on Tuesday and was posted on the navy Seal Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon (NZ time).

The boys repeatedly tell them, in Thai, that they're hungry and need food.

In the dramatic video footage of the moment when the divers reach the group, nine days after they disappeared, a diver with a British accent is heard talking to the group.

'We've got a job to do, ' was all Mr Volanthen would say to reporters when he first entered the cave.

One boy replies: "Oh". Thai Navy SEAL special forces posted a video of the first encounter in which the British divers told the group they would return with more divers and supplies on Tuesday.

As the days wore on with the group missing, distraught family members had placed fruit, desserts, sugary drinks and candies on mats near the cave as an offering to the spirits which some people believe protect the cave and the forest.

"Thank you so much", he said to a British member of the crew.

The group of 12 boys entered the Tham Luang cave complex in Chiang Rai province on June 23 with their 25-year-old soccer coach, just after practice had ended.

Thailand is now in the midst of its monsoon season, and while Monday was relatively dry, the rains returned on Tuesday.

In October 2010, the volunteers were called to France, where they tried to find a diver who didn't re-emerge after exploring a submerged cave more than a kilometer long. Tham Luang, Thailand's longest cave, and a popular tourist site, is said to be a labyrinth and a popular tourist destination.

He hasn't provided any explanation as to where one would obtain a tunnel like this, or how it could possibly navigate the aforementioned tight turns and narrow passageways. The system is 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long, and one of the most hard cave systems to navigate due to narrow passages and winding tunnels.

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