Will Elon Musk’s ‘kid submarine’ be used in Thai rescue?

Arnold Nichols
July 10, 2018

He said the last five survivors in the cave were in good health, adding that those who are now at the hospital could not eat fried rice yet because they will have to adjust themselves with the eating. Officials have said storms forecast for Chiang Rai province in Thailand's far north had factored into their decision to go ahead with a complicated and risky plan to have the boys and their coach dive out of the cave. "We're under a lot of pressure", she said, declining to be named because she was not allowed to speak to the media.

The Thai navy SEAL unit, which has been overseeing the rescue, later confirmed on its Facebook page that the total number of boys brought out was eight.

The team became trapped on June 23 when it set out to explore the cave after soccer practice and rains flooded the tunnels, trapping them inside.

When a pair of expert cave divers from the United Kingdom discovered the 12 players and their coach huddled together on a dry slab of rock, there was joy and elation, but also unease as it became clear just how hard it would be to bring them all out.

Authorities have said the mission could take three or four days to complete.

"If we wait and the rain comes in the next few days we will be exhausted again from pumping and our readiness would drop".

The boys smile as a Thai Navy Seal medic help injured children inside a cave in Mae Sai, northern Thailand. He said the mission would resume within "10 to 20 hours".

The head of Thailand's Health Department said doctors at the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital are applying treatments and putting the boys who have been rescued through a battery of tests to determine their conditions to help them recover from the nightmarish ordeal of being marooned in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave.

Thailand's interior minister says the same divers who took part in Sunday's rescue of four boys trapped in a flooded cave will also conduct the next operation as they know the cave conditions and what to do.


"In the cave we have more than 100 staff. for guide ropes, to fill tanks and 18 divers to get the kids", Narongsak said.

"For the people who are now bringing the 13.out of the Tham Luang cave, he (Prayuth) wishes safety and success", government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.

Rescue operation commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn made the announcment on Monday afternoon.

Authorities had been rushing to extract the boys and their coach from the cave as monsoon rains bore down overnight on Sunday. The boys are being kept isolated on the eighth floor of the 14-story hospital as their parents wait anxiously to see and comfort them, officials said.

The four who were rescued previously were taken to a hospital in Chiang Rai for evaluation.

He also tweeted that SpaceX and Boring Co. engineers were headed to Thailand to see whether they could assist Thai authorities. "We've used all the oxygen", Osatanakorn told reporters. "The boys' strength, the plan - today we are ready like before".

"I'm hoping for good news".

The cave complex is off-limits during the rainy season, which usually runs from May to October, when downpours can quickly flood it.

During this process, rescuers need to hold the boys' oxygen tanks in front of them and swim pencil-like through submerged holes.

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