Rain Resumes, Thai Cave Rescue Effort Begins

Former navy SEAL died from lack of oxygen while trying to rescue Thai soccer team in cave authorities say

The 25-year-old soccer coach has written as well, thanking people for support and apologizing to the parents of the boys.

Narongsak says the rescue mission was launched because floodwaters inside the cave are at their most optimal level.

With the round trip in the cave taking many hours, Heidler said the first boy would not emerge until at least 21:00 (14:00 GMT).

Mental health and medical experts have warned that even if the whole team gets out safely, they are likely to battle weeks, if not months, of mental and physical traumas.

But early on Sunday, journalists were told they had to move down the road, sparking speculation that a rescue mission was about to begin.

CNN's Matt Rivers said the forecast for monsoonal rains meant there might be no alternative but to try and get the boys out now.

Addressing media earlier today, Chaing Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said that all those trapped in the cave are now aware of efforts to rescue them and "they're ready to go out".


A Thai policeman guards an area under rainfall near the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 7, 2018, as rescue operation continues for the 12 boys and their football team coach.

"Everyone who is not involved with the operations has to get out of the area immediately", police announced via loudspeaker at the site on Sunday morning, an Agence France-Presse report said. They have not specified how the boys would be transported from the cave's entrance when they are freed, but several helicopters have been on standby for days, prepared to bring them to the hospital for treatment.

"Now and in the next three or four days, the conditions are ideal [for evacuation] in terms of the water, the weather and the boys' health", Narongsak Osottanakorn, governor of the Chiang Rai province, told the BBC News. "If this were a group of boys who didn't know each other and were trapped in this cave, the process and outcomes would likely be quite a bit different".

Water levels have dropped significantly in the cave, so the boys will be able to walk out for part of the way before they have to make a treacherous dive in dark and muddy waters out of the narrow cave passageways, officials said.

"To all the kids", wrote a mother of one of the boys, "we are not mad at you at all". With love." "Don't be anxious, I miss everyone. I'm happy being here inside, the navy SEALS have taken good care. "Love you all", wrote Mick.

A spokeswoman for the Boring Company who declined to be named said it is in talks with the Thai government and people on the ground to determine how they could best assist their efforts.

"Night loves Dad and Mom and brother, don't worry about me". The first boy may be out of the cave by 9pm local time but the mission could take three days. "At 10 am today (0300 GMT) 13 foreign divers went in to extract the children along with 5 Thai navy SEALs".

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