Fifth boy rescued from flooded Thai cave

A fifth boy has been rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province around 5 am on Monday, a Royal Thai Navy official said.

The boy was taken by an ambulance from the cave to a helipad and flown to Chiang Rai Prachanukraw in Muang district.

He was the first to be rescued on the second day of a rescue mission for a Thai youth football team trapped in Tham Luang Cave for more than two weeks. Teams are trying to save seven other boys and their football coach.

Since the water level was low and the weather was good, rescuers started their work quite early, said Narongsak Osottanakorn, commander of the search and rescue mission.

He said the same team of Thai and international divers who brought four boys out of the cave on Sunday are engaged in Monday’s operations. A few replacements have been made as some of the divers were too tired.

Foreign divers and members of Thailand’s elite navy SEAL unit will continue their efforts to guide the rest of the boys and their coach to safety through narrow, submerged passageways that claimed the life of a former Thai navy diver on Friday.

Tham Luang Cave area experienced heavy monsoon rains on Sunday amid storm warnings in the coming weeks. Rescue workers did not want to take chances and started a “war with water and time” to save the team.

The boys, aged between 11 and 16, went missing with their 25-year-old coach after soccer practice on June 23. They went on an adventure to explore the cave complex near the border with Myanmar and celebrate a boy’s birthday.