The members of the Thai soccer team that have been trapped in a cave for over two weeks now have been exchanging handwritten notes with their parents, talking mostly about what they want to eat when they get out, The Express is reporting. Meanwhile, efforts to rescue the boys are subject to conditions that appear to be changing almost by the minute, and oxygen levels in the cave are dropping.
The Good News
Miraculously, the all of the boys, ages 11 to 16, and their coach, were all found alive after having gone missing in the cave system, where they sat alone, in the dark, without food, for nine days. Rescuers have been working frantically around the clock to get the boys fed and healthy enough so they can get out.
After giving a chance to briefly identify themselves and greet their rescuers, in a brief video, the boys were given writing supplies so they could write handwritten notes to their parents. Perhaps not unexpectedly considering they’re teenage boys, many of them talked about food.
“Mum and dad I love you, and I love Nong [his brother or sister] too. If I can get out please take me to eat crispy pork. Love you mom, dad, Nong.”
— USA TODAY Video (@usatodayvideo) July 2, 2018
Another boy hopes his teacher will go light on him whenever he and his teammates are able to get back to school.
“Teacher, don’t give us lots of homework!”
Another boy, according to USA Today, promised to help his parents with their shop. Another one will be spending his birthday in the cave, and he asked his parents not to forget his birthday.
The boys’ coach, 25-year-old Ekapol Chanthawong, apologized for bringing the boys into the cave. The boys’ parents, who have praised him for keeping the boys alive, said he has nothing to apologize for.
The Bad News
Though divers are getting food and supplies into the part of the cave where the boys are trapped, they are running out of oxygen.
I’ve used a full face diving mask occasionally – it’s not easy for an inexperienced diver like me, mental focus needed particularly if there’s a small problem e.g. clearing it. It’ll be so difficult to get these boys out through a mile of flooded caves. https://t.co/u28WRB8F0K
— Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox) July 4, 2018
Rescuers are furiously pumping water out of the cave system, but it’s only helped a little – and it’s monsoon season, meaning that the rain will continue to fall for several months.
Up on the top of the cave system, officials are drilling, trying to get some fresh air to the boys, but they lack the technology to pinpoint exactly where they are.
Rescuers are hoping to get the boys healthy enough to swing, and then teach them to scuba dive so they can swim out of the cave.