Philippine Daily Inquirer
RESCUERS PONDER HOW TO SAVE 13 THAIS IN ‘RACE AGAINST WATER’
BANGKOK— Rescuers in Thailand are deciding how they will rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave complex as the country’s north braces for more monsoon rains that could imperil the operation.
The boys are around four kilometers from the cave’s entrance, according to the Thai navy, and about 400 meters from Pattaya Beach, a large, elevated point inside the Tham Luang cave complex.
Hard way out
But before the group, trapped since June 23, can be reunited with their families, they will have to contend with debris clogging some of the passageways back to the cave’s entrance and high water levels that might require them to use scuba diving gear, despite no previous training.
Many have questioned how the children can be brought out if it took even expert divers nine days to reach them.
The 10-km Tham Luang complex in Chiang Rai is relatively unexplored and includes nar- row, dark passages. Before the boys reach a T-junction 3 km north of the cave’s entrance they will have to dive at least once, said rescue workers.
“It takes six hours to get to where the children are and five hours to come back (to the cave’s entrance),” said Maj. Gen. Chalongchai Chaiyakum.
Officials have said between two to three divers will accompany each member of the group.
Race against water
Thailand is in the middle of its monsoon season which usually ends in mid-October. A sign outside the cave warns visitors it is prone to flooding.
Thomas Hester of the Australian Federal Police said there were “heavily flooded areas” inside the cave complex.