MAE SAI — The latest on the search for 12 boys and their soccer coach in a cave in northern Thailand.
The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach went missing when flooding trapped them after entering the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province on June 23.
A Thai provincial governor says the 13 people who had been missing for more than a week have all had an “informal” medical evaluation inside the cave and most are stable and none are in critical condition.
Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said Tuesday morning that they used a field assessment in which red is critical condition, yellow is serious and green is stable.
He said: “We found that most of the boys are in green condition. Maybe some of the boys have injuries or light injuries and would be categorised as yellow condition. But no one is in red condition.”
The 12 boys and their coach were found late Monday still in the cave and it is not known when they will be able to leave due to flooding and other factors.
A leading American cave rescue expert says many challenges are ahead for rescue divers in Thailand.
Anmar Mirza, the US National Cave Rescue Commission coordinator, says the primary decision is now one of whether to try to evacuate them or to supply them in place.
He says: “Supplying them on site may face challenges dependent on how difficult the dives are. Trying to take non-divers through a cave is one of the most dangerous situations possible, even if the dives are relatively easy.”
He adds that “if the dives are difficult then supply will be difficult, but the risk of trying to dive them out is also exponentially greater.”
Rescuers located the boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach alive deep inside the partially flooded cave in northern Thailand late Monday. They disappeared when flooding trapped them after entering the cave on June 23.
Thailand’s prime minister has thanked international experts and rescuers who helped find the boys and their coach.
The PM’s office says Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha “wishes to thank the tremendous efforts of all international units that have come to assist the Thai authorities in rescuing the youth football team that was stuck in the caves in Chiang Rai. The Royal Thai Government and the Thai people are grateful for this support and cooperation, and we all wish the team a safe and speedy recovery.”