Thailand cave search: Divers close in on missing soccer team

Thailand cave search: Divers close in on missing soccer team

Teams continue to search for alternative openings above ground and rescuers conduct practice drills to safely evacuate the boys if and when they are found.

Footage shot by rescuers shows the missing football team huddled together quietly in a dry area inside the cave where they've been missing for nine days. Heavy rains that flooded key passages are believed to have trapped the soccer players and have thwarted the search for them. It made it far more hard for rescue parties entering the cave to reach, as divers had difficulty contorting themselves around small turns and through narrow passageways in the flooding caves as it continued to rain.

"How many of you?" one of the rescuers calls out in English, before a faint "Thirteen!" is heard in response.

Rescuers hope the group could have found safety on a rocky mound inside one of the cave's chambers.

Thai Navy seals reached the group, aged between 11 and 15, and their coach but have not yet brought them out of the cave.

One of the options has allowed the rescue teams to descend to a depth of 200 meters, and they are continuing to go deeper, he added.

"I think in truth even the families of the missing boys and their coach would say that this is astonishing news", said Holland.

Hundreds of Thai people also took to social media to share their support for the group with a hashtag, which roughly translates as "the strangers we want to meet the most", according to the BBC. Personnels, right, of U.S. Special Operations Command Pacific Search and Rescue team meet with rescue teams from China, Thail.

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When a Thai military official announced the rescue at a base camp near the mouth of the cave, loud cheers went up from the searchers, who had been praying and working feverishly for such an outcome.

Now, they need to try to stabilize the team before extracting them.

The regional Governor said the 13 were in the process of being rescued, but he cautioned that they were not out of danger yet.

The rescue efforts at the Thaum Luang Nang Non cave have so far involved global assistance from the "US, China, Australia and the United Kingdom", according to Olarn and Said-Moorhouse. The governor said engineers are continuing to drain the cave network as doctors and nurses contine to check on the health of the boys and the coach.

Relatives of the missing boys pray, after the 12 boys and their soccer coach have been found alive in the cave where they've been missing for over a week after monsoon rains blocked the main entrance, July 02, 2018, in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

The search teams have now surveyed all possible chimneys across the mountain, Osatanakorn said, and found two chimneys that are considered potentially viable options.

"We found them safe".

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