Thailand: cave rescue efforts continue

By July 10, 2018

Thailand (MNN) – Rescuers are still working hard getting the remaining boys out of the flooded cave in Thailand.

On Sunday, four boys were confirmed to have been evacuated from the cave. On Monday, rescuers were able to get a head start on operations when the rain subsided a bit. They headed back into the cave around 11 am local time.

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(Photo and header photo courtesy of Compassion International)

Piyamary, or Oo, of Compassion International spoke to us Monday evening from Thailand. She says people waiting near the cave watched as two helicopters took off to the hospital yesterday evening. Later it was confirmed that four more boys had been taken out of the cave on Monday.

That means four boys and their coach remain as of the early hours this morning.

During a press conference, Oo says the mayor told them they would be bringing out whichever boys were ready. Originally, it seemed that they would bring out the weakest first, but that has not been confirmed since operations began.

According to the New York Post, yesterday’s rescued boys were healthier than the first group had been upon exiting the cave.

“He only said that whoever was ready, they will bring out first. Also, they haven’t [reported] about the names of the boys brought out,” Oo said on Monday.

The mayor has been keeping a tight lid on which children have been rescued so far, out of respect for the families and those left in the cave.

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(Photo courtesy of Compassion International)

Meanwhile, rescue workers have been working non-stop. When diving operations are put on hold, they are preparing for the next excursion into the cave.

After the first rescue operation, Oo says, “They had to rest and refill all the oxygen tank and re-rope it, like re-set up for the whole thing. And that will takes 20 hours, for them, for the team to set up and be ready to go in.”

This is the process they are going through now while they prepare to re-enter the cave today.

“From what I heard from the announcement at the press conference, it [sounds] like they expecting to bring the [boys] out every day that they can. But how many boys can they bring out each day? They can’t tell.”

One of the team members is a Compassion International sponsored child. His family has been waiting outside the cave since they learned that he was trapped. Despite the high-risk situation, Oo says they are doing well.

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(Photo courtesy of Compassion International)

“They said that they are very happy and they’re doing fine. They are at the cave site, [staying] there to wait for the signal or a sign that they can go to the hospital.”

Compassion team members have been supporting the families in any way they can.

“We pray with them and we help them to bring them back to the church where they’re staying in town to get [changed] or to get lunch or to get rest because for the last couple weeks, they really—it’s kind of [exhausting] to be at the cave the whole time. So, we always there with them, make sure they’re doing ok, and make sure they get what they need.”

Once it’s confirmed that this boy is at the hospital, Compassion will ensure that he gets good medical help.

There’s not much else for anyone to do than pray.

Oo says, “My prayer right now, personally, I’m praying for the weather can hold up until they get everyone out from the cave. That would be my prayer. And, water would not increase.

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(Photo courtesy of Compassion International)

“And the rescue team, also their strength. Because it can be really [exhausting]. Without them, I don’t think the boys can get out. So, praying for all the divers that are working really hard—90 of them volunteer. So, they have been working really hard for the last two weeks and every day now.”

Because the rescue operations are well underway and there’s not much else to do, Oo is heading back to the office today. She hopes and believes that the rescue operations will finish up today or tomorrow.

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