In Thailand the dangerous mission to save 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach, who are trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand, has just started. The Thai authorities announced this this this morning. An international team of 13 highly specialized divers descended at 10 am local time in the tunnels under the Mae Sai mountains. Watch film:
Today is D-day
Today is D-day for the rescue of the team that has been trapped in the cave for more than two weeks now. The rescuers have a small window of opportunity to bring them out, as heavy rainfall has been predicted for the next few days. This makes the rescue a race against time with two obstacles, water and time. At the entrance of the caves there is talk of a 'now or never scenario'. Conditions are ideal now, this is the right time.
The course of the rescue operation
The boys and their coach are in a small room 4 kilometres inside the cave, surrounded by flood water and with a limited supply of oxygen. It will take more than 11 hours before the first boy will appear outside of the cave. The whole operation wil take at least 4 days. To save them, divers must successfully navigate through the vast network of narrow tunnels, linking each diver to a child. In front of the entrance to the cave hangs a large green tarp to keep the media at bay and to protect an arsenal of medical equipment. All Thailand and the rest of the world can do now, is pray.