Sports

Thai coach apologizes to parents as boys write they’re OK

Thai coach apologizes to parents as boys write they’re OK

"Some of the chimneys are as deep as 400 metres. but they still can not find their location", Narongsak Osottanakorn, the governor of Chiang Rai province told reporters, according to AFP. A few of them wrote about what they want to eat and do when they manage to get out.

The adolescent soccer players trapped for two weeks in a partially flooded cave in northern Thailand don't want their parents to worry.

The Governor also revealed he had requested help from tech entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX, "because I have a friend there".

He said his engineers boast "advance ground penetrating radar" and technology that could "create an air tunnel underwater" for the children.

Narongsak said the drills would have to pierce 600 metres (1,970 feet) of fragile limestone rock to reach the boys and rescuers were discussing drilling angles.

In earlier such scenarios teams have used drillingto get to the stranded. Floodwaters have been drained as much as possible, Osatanakorn said.

"Not today because they can not dive at this time". Two of them and their coach are in poor health.

When asked if a rescue attempt would be made overnight if it started to rain, he said: "No, the boys can't dive at this time". "But we can't wait for the rain".

The dramatic rescue efforts and the boys' plight have garnered global attention - perhaps most notably at soccer's most widely-watched event, the World Cup.

Thai navy SEAL commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew said the volunteer diver, Saman Kunan, had been placing compressed air tanks along an exit route to assist the boys in their escape from the cave.

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On Friday, Thai Navy SEAL chief Rear Adm. Aphakorn Yoo-kongkaew said oxygen levels in the cave had dropped to 15%, a level that one Thai medic said posed a serious risk of hypoxia, the same condition that causes altitude sickness.

Asked at his news conference about bringing the boys out underwater, Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osatanakorn replied: "Not today because they can not dive at this time".

The death of the Thai diver, Saman Gunan, underscored the risks of making the underwater journey.

Growing global interest in the rescue has spurred help from countries such as Australia, Britain, China, Japan and the United States, among others. His body was taken to a naval base in central Thailand, and then on to his family in the northeastern part of the country. "Finding the boys doesn't mean we've finished our mission". A team of Royal Thai Navy members, a doctor and a nurse have been staying with the group ever since, giving them high-powered protein drinks and medical assessments, while officials work on a plan to get them out as safely and quickly as possible.

The Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page shared the note on Saturday.

But it looks like authorities are more determined to attempt a rescue right now. Medical assessments indicated the trapped children have good oxygen levels, with all of them having oxygen saturation levels of 95 percent and above. The boys are being given high-protein ready-to-eat meals, similar to army rations.

In another development on Saturday, authorities confirmed the boys had communicated by letter with their relatives, many camped outside the cave's entrance, for the first time since they were found.

Thai officials had been suggesting in public statements that a quick underwater evacuation of the boys and their coach was needed because of the possibility that access to the cave could soon close again due to seasonal monsoon rains expected this weekend.

"The situation is changing all the time", Apakorn said. Second message reads, "I miss dad and mum, I think of you every day".


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