Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

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Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by hhfarang » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:56 pm

"MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — Multiple attempts to locate 12 boys and their soccer coach missing in a flooded cave complex in northern Thailand for nearly two days have failed, but officials said Monday they believe they're still alive.

The boys, aged 11-15, are believed to have entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province with their 25-year-old coach late Saturday afternoon. A mother reported that her son did not return from soccer practice that day, setting off the search.

"We are still searching right now," Chote Narin, an officer at Mae Sai district police station, said Monday afternoon. "We've found traces but no people yet."

He said footprints and handprints were found inside the cave complex and that officials believe the boys are still alive. He said the fact that they're athletes should help them endure the situation.

Navy SEAL divers were trying to reach a large chamber deep inside the cave complex where officials thought the students might be. The chamber is about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the entrance of the cave, which is thought to be about 6-8 kilometers (4-5 miles) long.

The cave, cut into a mountainside in far northern Thailand near the border with Myanmar, is a local tourist attraction but can flood severely during the rainy season, which runs from June to October. Rain continued to fall in the area Monday afternoon and officials said parts of the cave were flooded under at least 5 meters (16 feet) of water.

Kamolchai Kotcha, an official at the forest park where the cave is located, said Monday morning that attempts to reach the chamber had failed as the passage is extremely small, "flooded and covered with sand and mud."

"Right now, our family is hoping that the children trapped inside will have formed a group and are safe and waiting for officials to go in and save them in time. That's what I'm hoping," Noppadol Kantawong, the father of one of the missing boys, told Thai PBS television on Sunday.

Thai television showed bicycles, backpacks and soccer cleats left at the entrance of the cave. The area was filled with soldiers and rescue personnel. Buddhist monks offered prayers.

According to Kamolchai, tourists trapped in the cave by past floods have been rescued after the water receded a few days later.

In "The Caves of Northern Thailand," an online guidebook last updated this year, the cave is described as only explorable from November to June due to flooding. It says the cave has an "impressive entrance chamber" that is about 80 meters (260 feet) long and leads to an easy walk along "spacious passageways" that last for about a kilometer (half a mile).

"At the end of the marked path the passage enters a series of chambers, boulder collapses and boulder chokes where route finding can be difficult," it says.

After a few hundred meters (yards), the cave narrows to a passage 2 meters (6.5 feet) wide and 3 meters (10 feet) high, it says. After that area, the cave splits off into different directions, including several that lead to other chambers, pools of water or places with high "avens," shafts that reach the surface.

Chote, of the Mae Sai police, said a helicopter was sent Monday afternoon to survey at least one of those shafts."

https://www.yahoo.com/news/water-mud-bl ... 49701.html
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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by 404cameljockey » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:35 pm

Very distressing to read this. But sounds like there is hope, this story needs a happy ending. :(

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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by Vital Spark » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:00 pm

^ I totally agree. I've been following this news since it first broke in Bangkok Post. Goodness knows what heartache the parents are going through just waiting for some news. My fingers are firmly crossed for some good news tomorrow.

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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by Nereus » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:40 pm

This does not look good for these poor buggers. Just have to watch out some of the rescuers do not get lost as well.
The trouble with caves is that they are even darker than the proverbial dogs guts. Rising water will also have washed away footsteps etc.
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Underwater robot, airborne drones aid cave search

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... ave-search

MAE SAI, Chiang Rai: A remotely operated underwater vehicle and two airborne drones equipped with heat detectors were deployed to search for 12 teenage footballers and a coach stranded three nights deep inside sprawling caverns cut off by rising water.

Sawangtit Srikitsuwan, head of a joint team from the Air Force disaster prevention unit and the Centre of Excellence for Astronautical and Marine Engineering, said the underwater vehicle would feed data about the condition and depth of the cave before divers entered.

The vehicle was previously used to survey marine natural resources and has never been used in a rescue operation, the marine engineering expert said. The drones equipped with heat detectors would survey areas outside the cave to support the rescue operation.

Somsak Khanakham, chief of Mae Sai district, said rescue teams were racing against time to find the 13 missing people. The Seals were the main rescue team, he said, with other teams from a border patrol police unit and the national park surveying the area on foot to find an alternate entrance into the caverns. Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said local authorities may drill into the mountain if necessary.

Long article.................................................>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by Nereus » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:45 pm

A further follow up to this, although I think it maybe just words, as some mighty pumps would be needed:
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Anupong: Rescue success hinges on drainage

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... recent_box

NAE SAI, Chiang Rai: Intensive efforts to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach who have been trapped inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand for three days hinge on pumping out water so that navy divers have headroom to operate, Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said on Tuesday.

Gen Anupong told reporters that Navy Seal divers leading the search for the missing are seriously handicapped by muddy water that filled some chambers of the cave to their ceilings. He said the divers could proceed only when enough water has been pumped out so there is breathing space between the water and the ceiling. The divers will also soon start using special oxygen tanks that provide longer diving times, he said.

Gen Anupong said that Tuesday's goal was to be able to "reach the kids'' and that rescuers would be working night and day.
"I want to confirm to the media that the Seal team will be working nonstop because it's already dark here too,'' he said. "So night and day doesn't make a big difference. They'll just need to rotate.''

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha called a meeting with chiefs of the armed forces at Don Mueang airport to discuss the rescue efforts after he landed in Bangkok from a European trip on Tuesday.

About a dozen navy divers and other rescuers re-entered the partly flooded cave on Tuesday morning to search for the boys, aged 11-16, who have been missing since their coach took them to the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex on Saturday after a practice match.

Divers have been seeking a way forward through the chambers of the cave complex, but have been forced to suspend their search several times. The authorities have also been seeking alternative ways in, using helicopters and search parties on foot to find holes that might exist in the ceilings of other parts of the cave.

Rain that fell overnight increased the difficulty of exploring inside the cave. However, the initial chambers near the cave's entrance are dry, and a power line was extended inside to provide light and ventilation and help the divers communicate with those outside.

more at link...........................................>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by Nereus » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:33 pm

Pumps overwhelmed as downpour hampers cave rescue

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... ave-rescue

CHIANG RAI: High-pressure water pumps were installed at Tham Luang cave early Wednesday morning as rescuers continued efforts to save 12 trapped young footballers and their coach, but were unable to stem the rising floodwater inside the cave, Thai Navy SEAL said on their Facebook page.

Around 4.45am, a fresh downpour pounded the area, causing flooding in the third chamber deep inside the cave, forcing rescuers to retreat to the second chamber. Water rose about 15 centimetres an hour.
Rescue teams were working against the clock to drain the cave but more rainwater kept entering it.

Supreme Commander Thanchaiyan Srisuwan said on Wednesday the United States Pacific Command was sending a team of navy divers and disaster experts to help with the search. Theywere en route from Hawaii.

Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said on Wednesday that rescue teams continued the search despite rising floodwater inside the cave. Divers had re-entered the cave to continue their search, he said.
Gen Anupong said all hopes were on the children still being safe as they regularly went into the cave and were fit and strong.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said five high-pressure electric water pumps, necessary equipment for the rescue operation and rescuers, had been deployed to the area. Army chief Gen Chalermchai Sitthisart had also arrived at the rescue site.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said resources from all agencies were being used in the search for the 13 missing people. Three foreign divers had also joined the operation.

He hoped that there would be good news soon and urged people not to be discouraged. Gen Prayut was speaking before chairing the cabinet meeting.

Soldiers carried large hoses into the cave as efforts continued to pump out the flood water, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

Distraught relatives have been camped out for days praying for the team's safe return.
"I hope that today with the help from all teams he will be saved. I'm certain in my heart," Pean Kamlue, the mother of a 16-year-old boy in the cave, told AFP.

he young football team, called the "Boars", and their 25-year-old coach are familiar to the area and know the cave well, officials said.

They went into the cave after football practice on Saturday and a mother of one of the young players alerted authorities when her son did not come home.

Bicycles, shoes and backpacks belonging to the young footballers were found near the cave's entrance, and divers said they discovered footprints and handprints inside one of the chambers on Monday.

A sign at the cave's entrance warns visitors not to enter the cave during the rainy season from June to November.
Rain was forecast to continue throughout Wednesday.
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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by PeteC » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:43 pm

Water to drink is not an issue, but food is going to become one very soon now. :(
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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by HHTel » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:24 pm

Drinking water is important. However, they can go a long time without food. I remember when my daughter was refusing to eat. The doc said as long as she's getting enough liquid not to worry. He went on to say that if she hasn't eaten in 2 or 3 weeks, then bring her back to see him.

A body can last a long time without food but water is a different matter.

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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by 404cameljockey » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:25 pm

I don't know if I can bear to follow this thread, it's breaking my heart. Does anyone know if there's anything that people like us can do to help? Manpower or whatever?

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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by HHTel » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:29 pm

A sign at the cave's entrance warns visitors not to enter the cave during the rainy season from June to November.
A picture of that sign was posted and as far as I remember it said JULY although this late in the month, I would have had second thoughts about entering.

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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by Nereus » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:04 pm

Rescuers aim for 'safe haven' in flooded cave

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... recent_box

Divers are waiting for the water level inside Tham Luang to drop before again trying to reach a high chamber that may be serving as a safe haven from the floodwaters for the missing 12 boys and their football coach.

"Divers are ready for another operation once the water level goes down," the Royal Thai Navy SEAL posted in a Facebook message around 7pm on Wednesday.

Floodwaters inside Tham Luang cave exacerbated by continued rain are blocking attempts to reach the teen footballers and their coach. They went inside the cave in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai, on Saturday afternoon and have not returned.

High-pressure water pumps were installed at the cave, draining 5,000 litres of water per minute.

The location in the cave rescuers want to reach, known as Pattaya beach, is an area of dry ground in a chamber deep inside Tham Luang.

Anukoon Sorn-ek, who surveyed the cave, told radio station FM100.5 on Tuesday that it was a possible place for the trapped boys and trainer to have escaped the water flowing into the cave from outside.

Earlier reports had said the diving team had reached the area but Maj Gen Chalongchai Chaiyakham, the deputy commander of the Third Army Region, confirmed on Wednesday that they had not been able to get that far. He said the "beach" is about 5-6 kilometres from the entrance.

"Pattaya beach is a big chamber and there are also smaller chambers that could serve as a safe haven," he said.
Long passages filled with murky water on the way into the mountain provide daunting obstacles for rescuers to overcome.

Other teams are surveying the mountain in search of shafts reaching down into Tham Luang as another point of access to the 13 trapped inside.

The search entered its fourth day on Wednesday and rescuers are working around the clock as time runs out.
Three British cave-divers, who have previously explored Tham Luang, arrived at the cape on Wednesday evening to help in the operation.

Graphic at the link............................................>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by RCer » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:41 am

What I've not seen on the news are the cave divers and search dogs. Just manpower and pumps.

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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by Big Boy » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:01 am

3 top cave divers from the UK arrived overnight. Apparently, they went straight in (day or night, I don't suppose it makes much difference in those conditions).
Divers.jpg
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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by Nereus » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:17 am

RCer wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:41 am
What I've not seen on the news are the cave divers and search dogs. Just manpower and pumps.
There have been divers there from the start, including Thai Navy Seals. The dogs could not carry a big enough air tank, plus their masks kept getting fogged up.

I understand that they are trying desperatly to find them, but with the Monsoon rains in full swing I dont think there is any portable pumps in Thailand that have a chance in hell of pumping the water out, even the pumps that the Thai press are incorrectly callling "high pressure pumps". The only hope is if they were able to find a space high enough away from the flood, and if there is such a space it may only prolong their agony when the air starts to run out.
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Re: Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

Post by Nereus » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:51 am

Bangkok Post:
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