Rescue operations commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn announced the successful extraction of four more “Wild Boars” soccer team members out of the Tham Luang cave and expressed confidence that rescuers would be able to bring to safety the last batch of five survivors tomorrow faster than they did in the past two days.
Speaking at a press briefing at 9.30 pm, the former Chiang Rai governor said that the extraction mission today which began at 11 am was accomplished at 8 pm with four more teenage footballers being rescued out of the flooded cave and safely sent to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital.
The good news today, he said, was that the rescue team spent nine hours – two hours faster than they did a day earlier – from the time they went deeper into the cave to extract the four survivors until they emerged safely from the cave.
He attributed the improvement of the extraction mission with lesser time spent to the increased experience with the terrain of the divers, the 100 plus people from different countries who installed the base line and the other support equipment.
For the final operation tomorrow, Mr Narongsak said the rescuers would use the same plan with some adjustments because the number of survivors to be extracted would be five instead of four as was the case for the last two days.
Officials will have to spend about 20 hours preparing all the necessary support equipment, said the former governor, adding that he was confident the rescue team would be able to operate with greater ease and to shorten the time spent by between 4-5 hours.
He said the last five survivors in the cave were in good health, adding that those who are now at the hospital could not eat fried rice yet because they will have to adjust themselves with the eating.
All the eight rescued survivors are now quarantined in the clean ward of the hospital.