Exclusive Thai cave rescue interview: Boys’ soccer team, coaches on harrowing experience | ABC News

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Divers share details from the daring cave rescue of Thai soccer team

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Searching for missing boys, Thai divers grope way through flooded cave

Thai navy divers had still to navigate their way through three kilometers (nearly 2 miles) of dark, flooded cave passages on Sunday to reach the spot rescuers believe would give 12 missing boys and their soccer coach a better chance of survival.


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Elon Musk courts new controversy after tweeting, then deleting, an attack on a British cave explorer

Elon Musk launched into a blistering Twitter tirade early Sunday against a British explorer who helped spearhead the rescue of a youth soccer team trapped in a Thailand cave.
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The moment when 12 boys, coach trapped inside Thai cave were found alive: Part 2

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Elon Musk’s kid-sized submarine was of no use in Thai cave rescue

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk built a special kid-sized submarine that simply wasn’t practical for the Thailand cave rescue, authorities said on Tuesday. The SpaceX and Tesla CEO showed off the small metallic pod on Twitter over the weekend as it was tested by his engineers in a Los Angeles high school swimming pool —…
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Rescue effort restarts for final 8 boys and coach still trapped in Thailand cave

The rescue operation took a pause to replenish the cave with oxygen.
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The first boys are out of the cave. It will be 10 to 20 hours before the next divers can go in, an official said


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Elon Musk is building a ‘kid-size submarine’ to rescue Thai kids trapped in cave

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Elon Musk is coming to the rescue.

The tech leader, along with SpaceX and Boring Company engineers, have been working with cave experts in Thailand to rescue the boys’ soccer team of 12 that’s been stuck in a cave system since June 23.

On Saturday, Musk tweeted an updated rescue plan, which essentially involves constructing “a tiny, kid-size submarine” that he plans to fly to Thailand.

Musk began his Saturday updates by discussing an “escape pod design” and “an inflatable tube with airlocks.” But as the day progressed, he settled on the idea of a mini-submarine. Read more…

More about Tech, Thailand, Elon Musk, Spacex, and Submarine


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Operation to extract boys trapped in Thai cave could begin soon

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Medical assessment of teens stuck in cave concluded it’s too dangerous to move them out today, source says

A medical assessment of the 12 boys and their football coach stuck in a cave in Northern Thailand has concluded that it is too dangerous to try to move the group out Thursday, according to a member of the Thai Navy Seals who is not authorized to speak to the media. The Seals have also started to pump oxygen into the chamber.


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Thai Boys Trapped In Cave Found Alive But Face Difficult Rescue

(Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center via AP)

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — Heavy rains forecast for northern Thailand could worsen flooding in a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach are waiting to be extracted by rescuers, possibly forcing authorities to have them swim out through a narrow, underwater passage in the cavern, a top official said Tuesday.

The 13, who disappeared when flooding trapped them in the cave they were exploring on June 23 after a soccer game, were found by rescue divers late Monday night in the cavern in northern Chiang Rai province during a desperate search. The effort drew international help and has riveted Thailand.

The boys, aged 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach were described as healthy and being looked after by seven members of the Thai navy SEALs, including medics, who were staying with them inside the cave. They were mostly in stable condition and have received high-protein drinks.

While efforts to pump out floodwaters are continuing, it’s clear that some areas of the sprawling cavern cannot be drained, said Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda, a member of Thailand’s ruling military junta. In order to get them out ahead of the bad weather forecast for later in the week, they might need to use diving gear while being guided by professional divers, he said.

Anupong said the boys would be brought out via the same complicated route through which their rescuers entered, and he conceded that if something went awry, it could be disastrous.

“Diving is not easy. For people who have never done it, it will be difficult, unlike diving in a swimming pool, because the cave’s features have small channels,” he said. “If something happens midway, it could be life-threatening.”

Video released by the Thai navy showed the boys in their soccer uniforms sitting in a dry area inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave above the water as a light held by a rescuer was shone on their faces.

Cave rescue experts have said it could be safer to simply supply them where they are for now, rather than trying to have the boys dive out. That could take months, however, given that Thailand’s rainy season typically lasts through October.

SEAL commander Rear Adm. Arpakorn Yookongkaew said there was no rush to bring them out, since they’re safe where they are.

A doctor and a nurse were with them in the cave.

“We have given the boys food, starting from easily digested and high-powered food with enough minerals,” Arpakorn told a news conference.

Having them dive out of the cave was one of several options being considered, “but if we are using this plan, we have to be certain that it will work and have to have a drill to make sure that it’s 100 percent safe,” he said.

Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said the health of the boys and coach were checked using a field assessment in which red is critical condition, yellow is serious and green is stable.

“We found that most of the boys are in green condition,” he said. “Maybe some of the boys have injuries or light injuries and would be categorized as yellow condition. But no one is in red condition.”

Relatives keeping vigil at the mouth of the cave since the ordeal began rejoiced at the news that their boys and their coach had been found.

“I want to give him a hug. I miss him very much,” said Tham Chanthawong, an aunt of the coach. “In these 10 days, how many million seconds have there been? I’ve missed him every second.”

Rescue divers had spent much of Monday making preparations for a final push to locate them, efforts that had been hampered by flooding that made it difficult to move through the tight passageways of muddy water.

Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, two expert cave divers from Britain, found the group about 300-400 meters (yards) past a section of the cave on higher ground that was believed to be where they might have taken shelter.

In the 5-minute navy video, the boys were seen wearing their soccer uniforms and were calm, curious and polite. They also were keen to get some food.

After an initial exchange in which a rescuer determines that all 13 are present, one of the boys asked what day it was, and a rescuer replied: “Monday. Monday. You have been here — 10 days.”

The rescuer told them “you are very strong.” The traditional reserve of Thai children toward adults broke slightly after a while, and one boy told another in Thai, “Tell them we are hungry.”

“We haven’t eaten,” a boy said in Thai, then in English: “We have to eat, eat, eat!”

A rescuer assured them that “navy SEALs will come tomorrow, with food and doctors and everything.” At the end of the video, a boy asked in English, “Where do you come from?” The rescue diver replied, “England, UK.”

Besides the protein drink, Narongsak said they were given painkillers and antibiotics, which doctors had advised as a precaution.

He said officials had met and agreed on the need to “ensure 100 percent safety for the boys when we bring them out.”

“We worked so hard to find them and we will not lose them,” he said.

Cave diver Ben Reymenants, part of the team assisting the rescue effort, told NBC’s “Today” show that he was “very surprised obviously that they are all alive and actually mentally also healthy.”

While they appear responsive, “they are very weak and very skinny,” he added.

Reymenants said the easiest option would be to “keep pumping the water out of the cave. They need another 3 or 4 feet so they can literally float them out with life jackets.”

“But time is not on their side,” he noted, because of the heavy rain forecast.

He added that two Thai navy doctors have volunteered to stay with them for months, if needed.

The British Cave Rescue Council, which has members taking part in the operation , said in a statement that “although water levels have dropped, the diving conditions remain difficult and any attempt to dive the boys and their coach out will not be taken lightly because there are significant technical challenges and risks to consider.”

Joining the British are other experts from around the world and teams from the U.S., Australia, China and elsewhere.

Authorities said efforts would continue outside the cave, where teams have been scouring the mountainside for other entrances to the caverns. Several fissures have been found and teams have explored some, although so far, none lead to the trapped boys.

___

Associated Press journalists Grant Peck, Kaweewit Kaewjinda and Jason Corben in Bangkok and Danica Kirka in London contributed.

 

 

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Experts cast doubt on plan to have trapped soccer team scuba dive out of cave

Experts in cave diving say a plan floated to extract 12 boys and their soccer coach from a cave in Thailand by teaching them to scuba dive may not be the best option.
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This Arizona restaurant will have you eating in an underground cave

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Enjoy going out for dinner but bored with all the restaurants in your area? Even with different decor, most dining establishments can get repetitive with how they look. We want going out for food to be an experience worth remembering, but so many restaurants have lost sight of that. Until now, at least. If you’re not local to Arizona, you might want to invest in a plane ticket, because they’ve opened one of the most exciting restaurants to launch in years. Ever wanted to eat your dinner 21 stories below the surface of the Earth?

In the Grand Canyon Caverns

Arizona is already famed for its Grand Canyon, one of the biggest landmarks in the United States. The site attracts more than six million people a year, but some of those people might now be making their way over to Grand Canyon Caverns. Located 2 hours away from the national park by car, the Caverns has recently become host to a new and incredibly unique dining experience.

The Caverns Grotto is located 200 feet underground in the Grand Canyon Caverns, which has already been well established as a spot for sightseeing. Regular tours run through this area, but now you can take in the views while you dine on some great, authentic food too.

Underground dining

Set in one of the biggest rooms in the cave, the restaurant sits atop a wooden platform that offers 360-degree views of the Caverns’ breathtaking interior. It’s not often you get to enjoy some sightseeing with your meal. You’d certainly be hard-pressed to find a dining experience that can match the one at Caverns Grotto.

The “classic American comfort food” at the restaurant is served through a pulley system leading up to the surface. Buckets are filled with the food which, once cooked, are lowered down to the diners. Applying electronics 200 feet underground isn’t exactly easy, and it would cause damage to the Caverns, so it’s easier if they cook everything up above.

Limited availability

The chefs won’t have to worry about having too much work on their hands, because the restaurant can only cater to a select few people at a time. The dining space underground isn’t huge, and as such, there are just four tables on the deck. It means bagging a reservation might take a bit of time, but the wait will be worthwhile. Wouldn’t you rather it be quieter down in the Caverns so you can savor the peace and beauty of the caves more?

Paying out

As you might expect, a meal down in the Caverns doesn’t come cheap, but it’s more reasonable than you might expect. Per person, lunch at the restaurant costs $ 49.95, while dinner is an extra $ 20 more. These prices do include a tour of the cave, which would usually cost you $ 22, and the dinner menu is an all-you-can-eat buffet. That’s not bad going for a meal which won’t be like anything you’ve ever experienced before.

The inspiration

Owner John McEnulty said the inspiration behind the establishment came after he visited the Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland. He was blown away by how realistic the setting was, and it struck him that he could offer the public an even more authentic dining experience. It quickly became apparent that he had the perfect space for the restaurant within the Caverns. Being close to the elevator but away from the tour routes, it’s the optimum location for enjoying a meal several hundred feet underground.

If this sounds like an unmissable experience to you, you’d best reserve a table while there are still spaces available.

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Take the kids to … William’s Den, North Cave, East Yorkshire

This slick new Yorkshire attraction mixes traditional indoor fun and games with zipwires and swings in the great outdoors. There really is something here for all ages

A new addition to Yorkshire’s theme parks and attractions, William’s Den opened on 3 July. It combines an indoor play area where all the structures are made of wood and rope with a huge outdoor section that features zipwires, tyre swings and places to make your own den in. Indoors is a beautifully put-together complex of suspended rope tunnels and platforms, a vast hollow oak tree with various levels and climbing apparatus, a fireman’s pole, a rope-ball swing, a huge sandpit, a water system based on a stream running through a wood, and a chill-out area with bucket chairs and bean bags.

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