Headcam footage shows tough Thailand cave rescue conditions

Thai rescuers prepare to enter the cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped in Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand Friday. A Thai diver died while on a supply mission

Thai rescuers prepare to enter the cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped in Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand Friday. A Thai diver died while on a supply mission

Thai rescuers have said 12 boys and their soccer coach who have been trapped inside a flooded cave in Thailand for two weeks are not yet ready to attempt an underwater evacuation.

The 12 children, aged 11 to 16, are accompanied by their coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, 25.

They were found 10 days later (July 2) by British rescue divers and have since been receiving supplies of food and oxygen. But the parents of the boys received a brief respite from that silence on Saturday when Thai navy SEALs delivered seven handwritten notes by the boys. And on the day that you all are rescued, I want you to say thank you to everyone involved in.

Another, of indistinct origin, asked their teacher not to give them a lot of homework. The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place oxygen canisters along the route to where the boys and others are sheltered, Thai SEAL commander Rear Adm. Arpakorn Yookongkaew said. They are all strong. "They'll be looking at flow rates, recorded rain fall over the past weeks, months to get a rough indicator of where they're at, they'll have a deadline in mind, and then they'll go for the most unpopular way out", he added.

Others are criticizing him for agreeing to take the boys into the cave during the monsoon season.

One boy writes: "I'm doing fine, but the air is a little cold but don't worry". His family are shopkeepers.

Another boy, 13-year-old Sompong "Pong" Jaiwong, put on a courageous face: "Dear Mum and Dad, I love you". "I love Dad, Mom, younger sibling and family".

"Dad, Mum, don't worry I'm fine".

"We are waiting to throw you a birthday party", wrote the parents of Pheeraphat Sompiengjai, the team's right winger who is nicknamed "Night". "I love Mom, Dad and Brother".

"I'm OK, don't worry".

The letters provoked a surge of emotion from families, who endured nine long days before their children were found and now face an agonising wait for a unsafe evacuation.

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The massive operation inside and around Tham Luang Nang Non cave suffered its first death Friday when a former Thai navy SEAL passed out underwater and could not be revived. "I'm nearly crying", Night's mother Supaluk Sompiengjai told AFP.

Thai authorities believe they have a three- to four-day window to free 12 boys stranded inside a northern Thailand cave and will focus on reducing the dangers of the rescue operation as much as possible until rain or increasingly toxic air inside the chamber forces them to act.

Officials said Thursday evening that three of the boys are in poor health.

"We have to make a clear decision on what we can do", he told the French news agency.

Officials say an oxygen line has been installed to counteract the increased carbon dioxide that comes from so many people breathing within such a small area.

If the risk from either the air or water increased "to the point that we can not accept, we will make decision", he said.

Many fans on social media said the boys deserved the World Cup trophy for the way they have handled their ordeal.

The ideal scenario is for enough water to have been pumped out to allow them to climb out.

Crews on the mountain have drilled more than 100 holes - one of them 400 meters deep - but none has reached the cavern where the group is trapped.

"Some [of the chimneys] are as deep as 400 meters. but they still can not find their location yet", he added. His team would camp out on the hill to try and finish their work before the rain came, he said.

The rescuers of this unprecedented effort are trying to establish new ways to extract the boys from above, if the underground chambers flood and it is considered too risky to evacuate the team by diving out through the submerged passageways. The boys are already being given instructions in diving techniques.

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