'Wild Boars' football team in good health, but skinny

'Wild Boars' football team in good health, but skinny

The Thai Navy Underwater Demolition Team logo drawn by navy divers and the 12 boys on a stone in Noen Nom Sao cavern, both to mark their rescue and as a relaxing activity, deep inside flooded Tham Luang cave. (Photo: Thai Navy Underwater Demolition Team)
The Thai Navy Underwater Demolition Team logo drawn by navy divers and the 12 boys on a stone in Noen Nom Sao cavern, both to mark their rescue and as a relaxing activity, deep inside flooded Tham Luang cave. (Photo: Thai Navy Underwater Demolition Team)

CHIANG RAI: Twelve boys and their football coach appear in good health, but very thin from lack of food, in their latest video since being found alive, trapped deep inside flooded Tham Luang cave, on Monday night- with still no indication when they will be brought out.

The Under-16 team members looked a little fresher after eating their first food in over a week and a medical examination. They are each seen greeting viewers with a "wai", introducing themselves and saying, "I'm in good health."

The clip was posted on the Thai NavySeal facebook page on Wednesday morning. A team of navy divers of the elite Underwater Demolition Team (UDT), nicknamed the Seals, and a doctor were with them.

They were found on Monday night, the 10th night of searching since the group went missing in the cave complex after football practice on the afternoon of June 23.

"Let's say something to your fans," a navy diver sitting next to the boys says in the video, urging them to greet their families and all the people who wish they have a safe trip out of Tham Luang.

Wearing emergency foil blankets to keep themselves warm, each gives a short greeting.

An earlier video, posed on FM91 TrafficPro Facebook page, showed a military doctor treating small foot injuries found on one of the boys.  

Rescuers have carried food supplies through the caverns to Noen Nom Sao, a high area deep inside the cave where the 13 footballers had taken refuge from the flood water, and divers are installing a telephone line to enable them to talk with their families.

Naval officers said they needed to stockpile food for at least a four-month stay, describing this as a worst-case scenario in which all exits remained blocked by deep, strongly-flowing muddy water.

Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn, who is in charge of the rescue mission, repeated on Wednesday that the boys and their coach would be brought out of the cave only when rescuers were confident it would be safe to do so.

"That's why I've never announced exact numbers" or dates to relocate the group, Mr Narongsak said.

Authorities would not put the boys and their coach at risk. But that did not mean they would wait until all the water was drained out, he said.

A "safe level of water" would be the deciding factor. It was too soon to say this would be, Mr Narongsak said.

Teams of rescuers, including soldiers and irrigation officials, continue their efforts to reduce the water flow into the cave, while also searching for cave shafts that could provide another exit route.

Leaving through a shaft or diving out of the cave were currently the only two options, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday. While the right shaft had not yet been found, diving through the cave passageways was not an easy way out. "It is not a straight tunnel," he said.  

In addition to pumping water out, temporary weirs have been built across creeks near Tham Luang to divert water away from the cave, Chongkhlai Waraphongsathon, deputy chief of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said on Wednesday.

Weirs were an effective way to deal with the large amount of water flowing down Khun Nam Nang Non mountain range where the cave is located, he said.

Below: The footballers each give a short greeting and introduce themselves:

A doctor treats cuts on the feet of one of the young footballers. 


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