3Rescue efforts for boys in Thai cave have begun: mission chief

Ekapol Chanthawong on a trip with the Wild Boars to a meditation trip

Thai authorities 13 foreign divers and five SEALs went in at 10am (local time) on Sunday (Jul 8) to rescue a dozen boys and their football coach who have been trapped in Tham Luang cave since Jun 23.

Asked how the boys could make it out safely if an experienced diver could not, Apakorn said they would take more precautions with the children. I've told P'Yod to get ready to take me out for fried chicken.

"I love you, Dad, Mum and my sister".

"Once his mission was over he dove back, but in the middle of their return his buddy found Samarn unconsious in the water and tried to pump his heart, but he could not save his life", the SEAL unit said in a statement.

The warning came a day after a Thai diver died during part of the rescue operation, a deadly turn in what started out as a celebration of one of the boys' birthdays at the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Chiang Rai province. "But I want to see him even more than I want to see his handwriting".

In a letter sent out through divers Ekapol Chanthawong, the coach of the Wild Boars football team, wrote: "To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care".

"On behalf of the global football community, I would like to join you in expressing my deepest sympathies and support to the families of the players and coach, as well as my solidarity with the people of Thailand at this time of great concern".

He also addressed his family: "I am well".

Another of the boys, Pong, reassures his parents he is doing well, writing, "Love you mum and dad, you don't have to worry, we're safe". And take care of yourself. Uncle, please tell Grandma to cook some crispy pork rind with a spicy dip. I'll eat it when I'm out. You don't need to be anxious about me.

The boys were exploring the cave when they became trapped by floodwaters on 23 June.

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"Our main obstacles include water and time therefore we have to do every way and keep looking for the best timing to launch our operation".

The coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, who many Thais have criticised for leading the boys into the cave, also apologised.

They were touched by his letter - but still full of concern for the boys.

Military personnel have been pumping water out of the cave, but if the operation can not hold the water level down, they will have to try to teach the boys to use diving equipment in order to bring them out through a tunnel that is in places very small.

Officials have been working to establish a telephone line into the cave so the boys can talk to their families, but water damaged the cable.

The handwritten messages from the boys and the coach to their families were on Saturday posted on the Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page.

Sgt. Major Saman Gunan wasn't abiding by any orders when he joined the effort to rescue a boys soccer team trapped in a cave in northern Thailand.

However, Ivan Katadzic, a Danish diving instructor who has been ferrying oxygen tanks inside the cave, said after a dive on Friday evening he was "double positive" about the mission because the water level had dropped considerably.

They have to work their way through a narrow passage that is flooded in sometimes deep, dark and low visibility areas.

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