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07 July 2018, 05:33 | Erica Roy
Ex-Thailand navy SEAL dies while working to save boys from cave
Rescue workers check on water pumped out of the Tham Luang cave, where 12 boys and their soccer coach are trapped, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 6, 2018.
Thai SEAL commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew told a news conference that PO Gunan was working in a volunteer capacity on a mission to place oxygen canisters. He had been placing the tanks throughout the caves in an attempt by Thai authorities to eventually ferry the boys out using scuba gear, reports the New York Post.
The trapped boys' spirits were surely lifted on Friday when they discovered they had been invited to attend the World Cup final in Moscow if they make it out in time.
That plan was dropped after rescuers realized the 12 boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach are too weak and too inexperienced to attempt the harrowing journey out of the cave.
Musk hopes his engineers can join the already huge operation being carried out in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex, where dozens of Thai Navy SEALs and worldwide experts are attempting to find a way to get the boys out.
Rescuers in Thailand are struggling to save a soccer team trapped in a partially flooded cave complex. He did not say how long they could survive with current oxygen levels, but he said getting more oxygen piped into the boys was top priority. Rescuers hope that once the water levels are sufficiently low, the boys will be able to walk through the pathway and spend only brief moments of time underwater, according to The Guardian.
A diver who spent time with the boys said earlier the youngsters wanted to know the results of the matches. They've practiced wearing diving masks and breathing, in preparation for the possibility they may have to dive.
More than 100 Thai Navy SEALS are working on the rescue mission as well as divers from Australia, the US, UK, China, and other countries.
Each diver reportedly needs to carry three heavy oxygen tanks to the boys' cave but the path is treacherous, winding, and long, taking skilled divers around five hours each way.
The muddy bank where the boys are stranded is about 2.5 miles (4km) from the front entrance of the cave, and sections of the final 1.7km stretch are completely underwater.
The schoolboys and their coach have been trapped inside the cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand for nearly two weeks. "We have a limited amount of time", he said.
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"We originally thought the boys can stay safe inside the cave for quite some time but circumstances have changed".
"Whoever offers help, knowledge, technology, equipment, we gratefully accept", Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said this week, but added that he had turned some people away because they would have been more of a hindrance than a help. The group was found Monday after a dramatic search and rescue that gripped the world, but authorities have warned that getting them out will be a fraught and hard process, especially since none of them can swim and could panic if they had to dive out, with potentially deadly consequences.
The urgency surrounding the rescue efforts has intensified ahead of weather forecasts predicting more rain over the weekend, which would further flood the cave.
The firms had advanced ground-penetrating radar that was "pretty good at digging holes" and technology that could create an air tunnel underwater for the children to traverse, Musk said.
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