After the death of a former Navy SEAL diver, and with torrential rains forecast, it is believed that authorities may try to rescue the trapped boys within 24 hours, according to The Guardian.
The peril of the team’s condition worsens by the hour. According to CNN, Navy SEAL chief Rear Admiral Arpakorn Yookongkaew said that oxygen levels in the cave have dropped to 15 percent, a level that is dangerously low.
A medic working closely with the relief effort said that the boys are in dangerous risk of hypoxia, which is the same condition that causes altitude sickness. Because of this, Yookongkaew said that even with the risks, it is imperative that they get the boys out now.
The alternative plan was to let them wait inside the cave for four months until the floodwaters receded. But with the monsoon rains forecast, and the oxygen levels depleting, that scenario is too dangerous to seriously consider.
"We originally thought the young boys could stay safe inside the cave for quite a long time but circumstances have changed. We have limited amount of time,” said Yookongkaew.
But one of the problems of extracting the boys immediately lies with the inability to procure wetsuits for three of the smallest team members. Those wetsuits need to have a thickness of five millimeters.
While the boys wait, emergency personnel are waiting with them. But the number has been reduced from 10 to five due to the problem with consuming too much oxygen. Compounding the problem was the death of a former Navy SEAL who died while resupplying oxygen to the boys, when he ran out air under water.
The boys are trapped two and a half miles inside the cave complex. It takes experienced divers up to five hours to swim through the jagged, narrow channels, according to CNN. Given that the boys are malnourished and weak, bringing them out the same way might prove precarious.
Please pray for the rescue of the boys and for the safety of the rescue team. Watch for updates on this developing story.