Trapped boys say “I’m in good health” in a new video as rescue operations continue into the 11th day at Thailand’s flooded Tham Luang cave, where 12 boys and their coach remain confined.
Boys from the under-16 soccer team trapped inside Tham Luang cave covered in hypothermia blankets react to the camera in Chiang Rai, Thailand, in this still image taken from a July 3, 2018 video by Thai Navy Seal. (Reuters)
A new video released on Wednesday filmed in the bowels of a northern Thai cave showed members of a trapped football team laughing as they greet the camera to say they are in good health after their astonishing discovery by divers.
The footage, published by the Thai Navy Seal on its Facebook page, runs by 11 of the 13 members of the team, each makes a traditional Thai greeting gesture to the camera before introducing themselves by nickname and saying “I’m in good health.”
TRT World’sReagan Des Vignes reports.
Trapped boys appear relaxed
Several of the boys in the frame are wearing protective foil blankets and are accompanied by a smiling diver in a wetsuit.
The one-minute clip ends on a jovial note, with one of the 12 young footballers saying he was forgotten in the round of introductions, sparking laughter.
The boys appear relaxed and much more alert than when they were when discovered late on Monday by British divers, as they took shelter from surging underground waters on a muddy ledge.
Several navy seal divers have deployed along with medics, while the complex process of evacuating the Wild Boar team begins.
Thai authorities say the focus is now building up the boys’ physical and mental strength after an ordeal that has left them emaciated.
Next they have three main options: diving out of the cave system, exiting through another hole if one can be found – or drilled – or waiting out the rainy season underground.
Experts say diving out is laden with risk – more so as the boys have never dived before and some may not be able to swim.
Areas of the cave remain submerged and navigating claustrophobic passages in murky rushing waters risks panic, even if the boys have ample equipment, expert support and a crash-course in how to dive.
“This requires them do be psychologically able to cope with being underwater … and the dives being not too long or difficult,” Alan Warild, an expert from the NSW Cave Rescue Squad in Australia, told AFP news agency.
The last option of waiting for the monsoon to abate, could be protracted as the monsoon begins to bite.
However, officials say they have stored food, medicine and equipment to last for up to four months at an underground base.