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12 Missing Boys Found Alive in Thai Cave After 9 Days

Search teams also find their coach; now, the actual rescue will need to begin
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2018 11:01 AM CDT
Updated Jul 2, 2018 1:08 PM CDT
Boys Missing in Thai Cave Found Alive After 9 Days
In this handout photo, Thai rescue teams walk inside the cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing in Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand.   (Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center via AP)

(Newser) – A remarkable twist to a story that was shaping up to be a tragedy: All 12 boys missing in a cave in Thailand for nine days, along with their coach, have been found, reports the BBC. Rescuers had been zeroing in on a spot in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system where they believed the 13 might have taken refuge from flooding, reports CNN. The area's provincial governor told reporters of the discovery Monday, reports the AP. The 13 had not been immediately extracted from the cave, and their conditions were not known. "We found them safe," said Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn. "But the operation isn't over." The boys range in age from 11 to 16, and their coach is 25. More details as they emerge:

  • CNN reports the boys were found roughly a quarter of a mile beyond where experts had hoped they had taken shelter: a large, deep chamber referred to as Pattaya Beach. When rescuers reached it, they found it, too, had flooded, so divers pushed forward and located the team on the higher ground beyond it.

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  • Osatanakorn says efforts to drain water from the cave will continue, as will plans to send in a medical team "to check their health and movement. We will work all night." The boys won't be moved until doctors can verify their condition permits it.
  • As far as their condition goes, Reuters has this quote from Osatanakorn: "Thai Navy seals have found all 13 with signs of life." It later emerged that the divers who found the boys were British.
  • A rescue consultant elaborates for CNN, saying a good deal of medical attention, including fluids and "reheating," will likely be required before a rescue can be staged. "They've possibly been lying still for days now. And sensory faculties won't be what they should be. So I would think that they're not really fit to move for maybe 12 hours or so really."
  • As for how to get the boys out, Reuters outlines two possibilities that have been discussed: get the group food and medical items and have them hang tight until water levels drop, or get diving gear to them and teach them how to use it.
  • How the BBC describes the scene: "jubilation here at the cave entrance—drowned out by the generators powering the water pumps and filling the air tanks for the dozens of divers whose persistence in the toughest of underground conditions has paid off." The scene is being streamed live on Facebook by the local government.
(Read more Thailand stories.)

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