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Former Navy SEAL: Thailand Cave Rescue Is Like 'Climbing Mount Everest'

09 July 2018

Four of 12 Thai schoolboys were rescued from a flooded cave on Sunday in a daring and unsafe operation to save the children and their soccer coach who have been trapped underground for more than two weeks.

At the time Trump tweeted reports indicated that four to six of the boys had been rescued from the cave.

A former Navy SEAL and combat swimmer said that the unsafe and harrowing rescue of a soccer team trapped in a flooded Thailand cave was comparable to climbing the tallest mountain in the world.

Monsoon storm clouds could bring rain at any moment, which would further flood the cave where the 12 boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach have been cut off by rising water.

The cave is a karstic cave complex under the Doi Nang Non mountain range that lies on the border between Thailand and Myanmar. "We're still at war with water and time", he told reporters.

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An official from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation found the unclaimed belongings of the group at the cave entrance and alerted the local authorities that the group has got stranded in the caves.

While the boys have been regaining their strength after rescuers took them high energy foods, and experts have been training them in diving techniques, for the unsafe and highly technical dives required to escape.

The second rescue mission to retrieve the eight remaining boys and their soccer coach trapped inside a Thai cave must overcome a number of challenges if it is to be successful.

USA technology tycoon Elon Musk said on Twitter that his team is working on a "tiny, kid-size submarine" to carry the boys out of the caves. The plan was to have the boys swim out of the cave with the help of divers.

"Now and in the next three or four days, the conditions are ideal (for evacuation) in terms of the water, the weather and the boys' health". They gave a deadline of 9:00 am to clear out, setting off a frenzy of moving and packing.

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Chiang Rai provincial acting Governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said Saturday that experts told him new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to just 10 square meters.

U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States was working "very closely" with the Thai government to free the boys."Very courageous and talented people!" he tweeted.

A mammoth response operation including a medical unit, ambulance and helicopter for every boy is waiting outside the cave for the team to emerge.

The mission reportedly paused due to depleted oxygen levels in the cave.

The entire nation is glued to the media coverage of the rescue mission, and Thai authorities have insisted they will not compromise on the safety of the trapped group.

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Former Navy SEAL: Thailand Cave Rescue Is Like 'Climbing Mount Everest'