Narongsak Osatanakorn, the former Chiang Rai governor who’s been heading the rescue operation, said the four children had to dive more than half a mile to get to safety.
The four boys pulled from the cave Sunday were happy and in good health, authorities said.
Dhammaraso, a monk who just arrived in North America on June 19, says he has faith that all the boys and their coach will be rescued.
American tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has proposed a mini submarine to save the boys trapped inside a flooded Thai cave, floating the idea on social media while linking it to his space exploration business.
Locals in Mae Sai and across the country have been glued to their television screens, watching every twist and turn of this dramatic search and rescue now in its 17th day.
Thai cave rescue: What happens next? Officials initially considered drilling as an approach for rescuing the boys, but that option has mostly been eliminated because getting the necessary drilling equipment up the mountain would be daunting and time-consuming. When facing a very narrow path, they will release the tank from back and slowly roll tank and guide the boy through. Thailand’s Meteorological Department said there was a 60 percent chance of rain Monday with thunderstorms forecast throughout the week, the Associated Press reported.
One early potential plan was to leave them there for months until the monsoon season ended and the floods subsided completely, but that idea was scrapped over concerns about falling oxygen levels and waters rising too high.
The mission reportedly paused due to depleted oxygen levels in the cave.
The boys, members of the Wild Boars soccer team, were invited to the World Cup Final in Moscow if they make it out in time and can physically handle the trip.
CHIANG RAI, THAILAND – JULY 8: Onlookers watch and cheer as ambulances deliver boys rescued from a cave in northern Thailand to hospital in Chiang Rai after they were transported by helicopters on day one of the rescue effort.
Sky News cited a Royal Thai Navy official as saying one boy had been rescued Monday, bringing to five the total number of boys who had been rescued.
For the youngsters who have gone nearly two weeks with no nutrition – many of whom can’t swim and have never been diving before – the challenge is incredibly hard and risky.
The rescue was carried out with the United States still coming to terms with Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has seen young children and infants torn from their parents and sometimes placed in deportation proceedings. It happens to adults in the open water, never mind children in a dark cave, ” Haigh said.
British divers found the 13, huddled on a muddy bank in a partly flooded chamber several kilometres inside the complex, on Monday last week.
How long will it take to rescue the boys?
Many experts have weighed in on possible extraction methods that would minimize risk to the boys. Musk said based on “feedback from Thailand”, the engineers made a decision to build a “tiny, kid-size submarine” using a large silver tube meant to be affixed to a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
A Thai navy official confirmed to Reuters that a boy was freed from the cave on Monday afternoon local time.
None of the boys have scuba diving experience and experts have warned they could easily panic while swimming underwater in darkness.
Problems could include depression, anxiety, anger, and an inability to adjust to normal sleep patterns, said Jacob Hyde, an assistant professor of military psychology at the University of Denver who studies reactions to isolated environments.
“This morning they said they are hungry, and they wanted phad kra pao”, he said. Experienced divers, meanwhile, would navigate it.