Five reasons why survivors cannot be extracted out of cave now

More than 60 hours since the Wild Boars football team and their coach have been found on a mound about 400 metres from the so-called Pattaya Beach by rescuers on Monday night, the 13 survivors are still stranded, waiting to be extracted out of the flooded cave.

Five reasons have been cited to explain why they cannot be taken out now:

1.     The 13 survivors are not physically ready to be taken out after being stranded in the cave in total darkness for almost ten days since June 23 without food except rain water which seeps through the cave ceiling.  The SEAL medical team which has been with them are providing them with energy-enhancement food, such as power gel before they are fed with ordinary food to build up their strength and health.

2.     The extraction route is rough and about four kilometres long from where they are now to the cave entrance.  Some sections of the passage are shallow and can be waded through while others are flooded with strong currents and some are narrow and steep.  Even the SEAL team takes about six hours to get in and out.  Efforts to drain more water out are under way with more groundwater wells to be dredged to drain more water out of the cave.

3.     There is not much oxygen in the cave and the survivors will have to dive through the flooded passage ways if they are to be extracted out.  Hence, oxygen tanks are installed every 25 metres on baseline from the mound where they are stranded up to the safe spot.

4.     Water from the outside continues to flow into the cave despite attempts to block it by diverting it to other directions.

5.     For the time being, the first option of the extraction plan is to get the survivors out through the cave entrance.  This means that the survivors will have to dive through the flooded passage ways.  Since all of them have no basic training in diving, let alone cave diving, they will have to go through a  diving crash course and to familiarize themselves with the full-face dive masks they will have to wear.  31 divers have been sent from the army special force to help the SEAL frogmen and foreign cave divers in the extraction mission.  It was planned that two divers will accompany one survivor for the tricky journey under water from the mound where the survivors are stranded up to Chamber 3, the forward command of the rescue operations.