Thai cave boys to get four months' food, learn to dive

Much-needed food and medical supplies, including high-calorie gels and paracetamol -- reached them Tuesday as rescuers prepared for the possibility that they may be there for some time. 

Published: 03rd July 2018 07:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2018 07:36 AM   |  A+A-

Rescuers make their way down at the entrance to a cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, Sunday, July 1, 2018. The frantic effort to locate them in the cave for a week picked up pace as a break in the rain eased flooding in the system of caverns and more experts from around the world joined the anxious rescue mission. | AP

By AFP

MAE SAI: Twelve boys and their football coach found alive in a Thai cave will be supplied with four months' worth of food and get diving training, the military said, as focus shifted to the tricky task of evacuating the group from the complex underground system.

The boys aged between 11 and 16, were discovered with their 25-year-old coach late Monday, rake thin but alive, huddled on a ledge deep inside a flooded cave nine days after they became trapped in a pitch black cave hemmed by rising floodwaters. 

Much-needed food and medical supplies -- including high-calorie gels and paracetamol -- reached them Tuesday as rescuers prepared for the possibility that they may be there for some time. 

"(We will) prepare to send additional food to be sustained for at least four months and train all 13 to dive while continuing to drain the water," Navy Captain Anand Surawan said, according to a statement from Thailand's Armed Forces. 

The miracle rescue sparked jubilation across the country after a gruelling operation beset by heavy downpours and fast-moving flooding floods. 

"We called this mission impossible because it rained every day... but with our determination and equipment we fought nature," Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said Tuesday. 

"The doctor advised that we should provide several kind of medicine to prevent infection and other illness," adding that medics had reached the young footballers. 

The boys were found late Monday by British divers, with footage showing them emaciated and huddled on a mud mound deep inside the cave.

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