MEDIA BRIEFING NOTE – 8 July 2018
More, as key phase begins of the rescue operation to bring the boys out of Tham Luang Nang Non Cave
The BCRC releases this latest media briefing as many reports have appeared in the media on Sunday morning that this critical phase of the rescue operation to bring out the 12 boys and their football coach has commenced.
Update for teams and media compiled 12:00h BST, Sunday 8 July 2018
At around 02:00h BST (08:00h Thai time) this morning (Sunday) the Thai authorities at the Tham Luang Nang Non cave gave notice to all people not directly involved in supporting rescue operations to evacuate the site at the cave entrance.
The reason given was to clear the area prior to the start of a rescue operation. The BCRC has recently relayed the formal briefing of the Thai authorities.
None of the rescue options are risk free:
Pumping out enough water to let the boys wade out has run out of time as heavy rain is imminent. The rain will reverse the remarkable progress made over the last few days.
Drilling equipment cannot get through the dense foliage, there is no exact known surveyed target to direct the drill; drilling could destabilise rocks above the children or block passages and increase flooding.
The suggested ‘escape pipes’ could not be made sufficiently small, flexible and strong enough to withstand the passage of the children and rescuers, nor the abrasion from the sharp rock and strong currents inside the cave.
Sitting out the monsoon on a small, crumbling ledge with reduced oxygen and the risk of it severely flooding during the monsoon rains is no longer considered to be a viable option.
This seems to leave the diving option as the least risky of these many uncertain options and the briefing by the Thai authorities announced that an attempt to bring the boys and their coach out of the cave by diving them through the flooded passages and galleries had started at around 04:30h BST (10:30h Thai time) when an international team of cave rescue divers entered the cave.
Cave divers from the UK BCRC team, from Australia and elsewhere and also non-cave divers from the Thai navy, USA and other countries are on site to contribute to the rescue attempt.
What appears to have begun this morning is an extremely difficult and very hazardous operation. It is expected to take days to complete in spite of the best endeavours of some of the foremost cave divers in the world there can be no guarantee of success.