All 12 boys and their soccer coach have been rescued from a flooded Thai cave complex where they were trapped for more than two weeks, according to the country’s navy SEALs.
Eight of the boys were brought out on stretchers over the first two days — four on Sunday and four on Monday. The final four boys and their 25-year-old coach were freed Tuesday.
The head of the operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn, said earlier that the final operation would be “more challenging” because one more survivor would be brought out, along with three Navy SEALs who have been accompanying them.
The rescuers have been learning from experience and were two hours faster in bringing out the second batch of survivors on Monday.
Scattered monsoon rains continued to risk percolating through the limestone cave walls to flood the tunnels with fast-flowing water. But the rains cleared during the day, a reassuring sign for rescuers who have feared that wet weather could imperil the rescue.
All that rain that they predicted and fear has arrived in Chiang Rai province. Officials will be watching the water levels inside the cave very closely as the next and possibly final <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/thaicaverescue?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#thaicaverescue</a> begins later today. <a href=”https://twitter.com/CBCTheNational?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@CBCTheNational</a> <a href=”https://t.co/wfF6maXwLo”>pic.twitter.com/wfF6maXwLo</a>
A crack team of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS guided the boys out through nearly four kilometres of sometimes submerged, pitch-dark channels.
The Wild Boars soccer team and their coach got trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the vast cave complex after soccer practice, when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels.
British divers found the group, huddled on a muddy bank in a partly flooded chamber several kilometres inside the complex, on Monday last week.
The eight boys brought out on Sunday and Monday were in good health overall and some asked for chocolate bread for breakfast, officials said, though they can’t yet digest the spicy dishes favoured by many Thais.
Two of the boys had suspected lung infections, but the four boys from the first group rescued were all walking around their hospital beds.
They are still being quarantined from their parents because of the risk of infection and would likely be kept in hospital for a week to undergo tests, officials said.
It was clear doctors were taking a cautious approach. Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, said they were uncertain what type of infections the boys could face “because we have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave.”
People across Thailand, and the world, have cheered the rescue operation, including at the Mae Sai Prasitsart school where six of the trapped boys are students.
Technology billionaire Elon Musk went into the cave on Monday and left the rescue team with a “kid-sized” submarine his company SpaceX had built, Thailand’s interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said.
Just returned from Cave 3. Mini-sub is ready if needed. It is made of rocket parts & named Wild Boar after kids’ soccer team. Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future. Thailand is so beautiful. <a href=”https://t.co/EHNh8ydaTT”>pic.twitter.com/EHNh8ydaTT</a>
However, officials scotched any chance of using Musk’s mini sub, which is made of rocket parts
Narongsak said he was grateful for Musk’s support but the equipment was impractical for the rescue mission. Musk said he left the equipment in case rescuers could use it in future.
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Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area. It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary, generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road). Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.
Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016, Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.
Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton. The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.