Screen dump from Channel NewsAsia of the cave divers working in the cave
08 Jul 2018

Falling oxygen levels press the rescuers to dive the boys out of the Thai cave - collection of videos explain the extrication efforts


Four of the boys stuck in the Tham Luang cave have been rescued through a system of "buddy diving". The twelve boys and their coach have now been in there for fifteen days.

Four boys are now out of the cave and receiving medical treatment,  Thai authorities confirm, according to Reuters news agency.

Another two boys were reported to be located near the cave opening, as the extrication mission wrapped up for the day.

"They have been taken care of at the field hospital near the cave," said Tossathep Boonthong, head of the Chiang Rai Provincial Health Department, according to Reuters.


Falling oxygen levels in the cave brought the rescue mission back to Plan B

Initially, it was thought to be safer to let the boys shelter in place until the rainy season is over, but the presence of rescue workers have consumed more oxygen than expected.

Oxygen levels have been getting lower than expected, approaching 15% and falling. At 12 %, brain damages are expected to occur. Because of the dangerously low oxygen levels, alternative methods - like drilling holes in the cave - have been abandoned and the plan is now back to the initial idea: to teach the boys how to dive out of the cave.

One rescue diver has already died of oxygen depletion during the rescue mission, and four more have been injured during the frantic fight against the clock to get the boys and their 25-year old soccer couch out.

In the morning Sunday, Thai time,  a group of divers entered the cave to save the football team. According to statements by the rescue leader, it seemed that the process would take about 11 hours, but the work went faster than expected.

Four day diving mission

The whole operation is estimated to take two to four days depending on weather conditions.

13 foreign divers, five Thai divers and military specialists assist in getting the football team out. They have allegedly prepared for several days to carry out the rescue operation.

Two divers accompany each child through the cave system that is dark, narrow and crooked.

The plan is to let the boys swim into four "groups". The first group of four is already out, then they swim in groups of three. The 25-year-old football coach will be escorted out last.

There has been a huge effort to pump millions of gallons of water out of the cave.

At a press conference, the governor stated that the water level in the cave has fallen by 30 centimeters, and that the boys will be able to go the last bit.

The rescue campaign to get out the twelve boys and their football coaches is ongoing and is expected to continue for several more days. In the evening local time, authorities announced at a press conference that they were now wrapping up the rescue operation for today.

The work will resume in about ten hours when the divers have rested.

According to previous data, six boys was supposed to be rescued, but now it is reported that four are out and another two two boys should be near the cave entrance where they will be met by healthcare professionals.