Missing Thai Soccer Team found, but rescue could take months

Bangkok, July 3 : A Thai soccer team of 12 boys and their coach who went missing for more than nine days have been found alive. However, it may take months for them to come out, the country’s army said on Tuesday.

Experts said it could take weeks if not months to get them out with much of the cave still submerged by floods.Rescuers are yet to decide on what would be the best way to get the group out in their weakened condition.

The Thai military said it is providing months’ worth of food and diving lessons to the boys, discovered kilometers into the pitch-black and waterlogged Tham Luang network of caves in the country’s monsoon-drenched north.

The rescue workers — Thai Navy SEALs — were battling with rising water and bringing in food and medical supplies to the stranded team.

The Royal Thai Navy released the footage Monday after local officials announced that all 12 boys and their coach had been found alive.

The Tham Luang cave complex in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand is regularly flooded during the rainy season which lasts until September or October.

If the children were to be brought out before then, they would have to learn basic diving skills to safely get through the dangerous corridors of muddy, zero-visibility waters, the BBC reported.

Attempts to pump the water levels lower have so far not been successful.

The 13 have been missing for nine days before they were found by divers on Monday. Families of the missing group were ecstatic at news of the rescue.

The search for the group had gripped the nation as it was unclear where they were or whether they even were still alive after their belongings were found outside the cave on June 23.

The rescue operation attracted world wide attention with experts from various countries pitching in.(IANS)

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