After the daring rescue effort by Thai Navy SEAL divers commenced Sunday, six boys have successfully been extracted from the flooded cave, but the rest are still trapped inside.
The 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped deep inside for more than two weeks. According to Reuters, the first wo boys were taken to a field hospital near the cave to be examined, said Tossathep Boonthong, chief of Chiang Rae’s health department.
“I have received information that six have exited the cave,” said a senior member of the extraction team.
The effort to bring them out is harrowing and extremely risky. Some of the boys are as young as 11 and have been weakened by depleted oxygen levels and malnourishment, coupled with the fact that they’re weak swimmers. Some areas of the cave are narrow and are submerged—so dangerous that an expert former Navy SEAL diver lost his life last week from lack of oxygen.
“Today is D-Day,” said Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the rescue mission, when the rescue effort began.
According to Fox News, a group of 18 divers commenced the rescue operation Sunday at 10 a.m. local time. Each boy is being accompanied by two divers.
The danger worsened when on Sunday bursts of heavy monsoon rain soaked the Tham Luang Cave area in northern Thailand. Weather experts expect that in the next coming weeks storms will arrive, which could severely hamper the efforts.
“I confirm that we are at war with water and time from the first day up to today,” said Narongsak. “Finding the boys doesn’t mean we’ve finished our mission. It is only a small battle we’ve won, but the war has not ended. The war ends when we win all three battles – the battles to search, rescue and send them home.”
The effort to rescue all 12 boys could take three to four days, depending on the weather.
Please pray for the safety of the boys, and for the rescue team, in this perilous effort to bring them all to safety. Find out more about the rescue effort as it got underway.