Rescue operation to save the trapped Thai soccer team started with a meaningful photo
Thai rescue teams have decided to start the process of extracting the youth soccer team and its coach from the cave that they have been trapped in for the past two weeks.
The decision was made on Saturday and announced on Sunday morning, July 8, 2018, by Narongsak Osotthanakorn, the governor of Chiang Rai, during a press conference.
In order to mark the occasion, as a possible message of good luck, the Thai Navy SEAL team took to their Facebook page to share a photo of the hands and arms of the rescuers linked together.
13 foreign divers and five Thai Navy SEALs entered the cave to get the rescue operation started. The plan was to have two experienced divers escort each child out of the cave to guarantee a higher rate of success.
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A time estimate dictated that it would take around five hours for the rescuers to reach the soccer team's location, including an hour break. While ten divers were headed to the main chamber, the rest stayed back along the path.
There were two major obstacles that divers would have to face to reach the young boys and the coach - water and time, and both conditions were out of the rescuer's control.
The officials responsible for the rescue operation agreed that this would be the perfect time to start the mission, considering that the water levels had gone down by 30 percent.
But that wasn't the only factor that weighed on their decision; seasonal monsoon rains were expected to hit the region this weekend and throughout next week, which would severely hinder the team's efforts.
Despite the lower levels of the waters, the operation is still extremely risky and every person involved is well aware of it. The recent death of Saman Kunan, a former Thai Navy SEAL diver who attempted to reach the soccer team, reminded everyone of the high risk that the rescue represents.