The rescue personelle working in the muddy waters of the cave in Thailand.
06 Jul 2018

Thai rescue diver died in the cave - situation more desperate as oxygen in the cave is running low


A Thai rescue diver from the Navy SEAL has died during the rescue efforts for the boys stuck in a cave in Thailand. The diver, who transported air tubes, died of oxygen deficiency on his way out of the cave system.

The diver's task was to transport air cubes to the chamber where the twelve boys and their coaches are sheltered. The diver had previously worked in the Thai Navy and still participated in rescue efforts.

"A former employee of SEAL, who has volunteered in the afternoon at two o'clock, said Passakorn Boonyaluck, Governor of Chian Rai Province, for the overall press conference, according to the AP news agency.

He did not have enough air to cope with the return and became unconscious. His life could not be saved.

"Even if we have lost a person, we still need to believe that we can do our work," says commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew.

A drawing of the cave system made from memory by one of the rescue divers.
This drawing, made from memory by one of the rescue divers, shows exactly how difficult this diving mission really is. Divers have to take off their oxygen tubes and free dive during some of the narrowest passages.


Time is running out: Oxygen is depleting for the boys in the cave

The situation is now becoming more desperate for the rescue efforts in the cave. With one diver down already, it is becoming clear just how difficult and dangerous it would be for the inexperienced boys to try to dive out of the cave system.

The back up plan has up to this point been to let the boys remain in the cave until the rainy season is over, and they could safely walk out.

However; with so many rescue workers in the cave system, oxygen is depleting faster than anticipated, and the urgency to get the boys out is more and more pressing.

The boys tell rescue workers that they have heard sounds of cattle and children near the roof of the cave chamber, and the hope is that there is actually already a narrow passage somewhere which could be widened, in order to extricate the boys vertically .

Rescue teams are now attempting to place a line of oxygen in to the chamber where the boys are, to ensure safe oxygen levels for everyone involved until the rescue can be completed.

The plan is to extricate one boy at a time, so the rescue will take a considerable amount of time no matter what.

Will try to pump out the water

The task of the rescue team is to pump out significant amounts of water from the cave before more rain comes in over the area, making it possible to dive out with the boys.

It's almost two weeks since the local football team entered the cave in northern Thailand and got stuck there because the rising water level blocks the outputs. July 2, they were found alive.

The way into the cave chamber where the football team is located is difficult to reach during the rainy season. In some parts of the tunnels, divers have to take off their tubes to penetrate the small and narrow passages.