More Boys Rescued From Thailand Cave

Jacob Goldberg 
american divers arrive at the site

But they remain "at war with water and time" as torrential monsoon downpours deluged the Tham Luang cave, in the hilly jungle of northern Thailand, and threatened to flood it even further.

But with oxygen levels inside dropping to risky lows and the prospect of heavy rains flooding the area completely, authorities decided they had to move quickly, and take the group out through the water-filled tunnels.

Key among them is Dr. Richard Harris, a diver who has experienced the grief of a treacherous cave system before. It could take two to four days complete the mission, officials said.

Thirteen global divers and five Thai Navy SEALs are involved in the operation. He said those conditions will not last if the rain resumes.

Meanwhile, health experts said they would conduct a check-up of the boys on parameters like oxygen, malnutrition, dehydration, post-traumatic stress, and other psychological effects.

"I'm hoping for good news", he said. However, they got trapped inside after heavy rains flooded the entrance of the cave.

There had been efforts to pump the water out but those were set back every time it rained.

Relatives said the boys had been inside the labyrinthine complex during the dry season.

Eight boys are still inside the cave and along with the team coach.

The current rescue operation is not, Tracy said, "the preferred option".

"Hopefully useful", he wrote in one tweet, noting that the device would arrive in 17 hours. "This is a catabolic state for these kids and this coach, meaning they are breaking down muscle because their physiologic state of stress is so high", she said.

A video published by the Thai PBS channel earlier on Monday also showed a person on a stretcher - most likely the first boy to be rescued on Monday - being transferred to a helicopter. Previously, round trips through the cave network would take about 11 hours. They were quickly transported to a hospital in the town of Chiang Rai, the provincial capital. Nine people remain trapped in the cave.

The rescue mission chief said the second day of the operation had gone more smoothly than the first, taking two hours less as the procedure became more refined.

Thai officials have been tight-lipped about the rescue operation, and would not comment on how many people were removed Monday.

Narongsak said the rescued boys had not been identified out of respect for the families whose sons were still trapped, adding that the boys were being kept away from their parents due to fear of infection.

How will the kids' mental health be effected?

"If you're claustrophobic to begin with, and then add to it that the cave is water-filled and dark and you're going to get twisted around and maybe upside down. that's a really scary situation", said Greg Brick, a geologist in the Twin Cities who also works for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a hydrologist.

Adesman said that PTSD is an issue for protracted trauma, and he's optimistic the worst is behind the boys trapped in the cave.

"I am still waiting here at the cave, keeping my fingers crossed to see whether my son will be one of those to come out today", Supaluk Sompiengjai, mother of Peerapat - known by his nickname "Night" - told AFP.

Plans called for the boys to be placed in ambulances and given medical assessments.

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