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For 4 Boys and Coach Still Trapped in Cave, 'Rain God' Needs to Help

It's not clear when next rescues will take place in Thailand
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2018 2:19 PM CDT
An emergency team believed to be carrying one of the rescued boys from the flooded cave heads to the hospital in Chiang Rai in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Monday, July...   (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

(Newser) – Four boys and their coach remain trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand, after divers rescued eight boys Sunday and Monday. The four boys rescued most recently have all been hospitalized and all are safe, the head of the rescue mission announced Monday; they are quarantined due to a concern about infection, CNN reports. But as for when the same can be said of the last four and their coach, it depends on the weather, Reuters reports. Rescuers need more than 20 hours to get ready for the next operation, but beyond that, "it is up to the environment," the rescue mission head says. "If the rain god helps us, then we may be able to work fast. But if the rain god doesn’t help, then it could be challenging."

It has been intermittently raining heavily in the area over the past three days, and still more heavy rain is in the forecast this week; all of that can hamper efforts to drain water from the cave's tunnels. As for whether all five remaining people might be rescued at once, the rescue mission chief wasn't sure. "It depends on the plan," he said. "We have set the plan for four people so if they want to take five out [simultaneously], then they need to change the plan." Divers hold the boys, some of whom aren't strong swimmers, close during the rescues; the children wear oxygen masks so they can breathe normally. Witnesses say the boys that have been brought out of the cave so far have been seen wearing full face masks and several wetsuits to keep them warm. (Read more Thailand stories.)

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