Thai cave rescue: Coach apologises to parents in handwritten note

The coach of the boys’ football who are trapped in a cave in northern Thailand has apologised to the parents.

Letters from the boys, aged between 11 and 16, and the coach were handed to divers who are trying to formulate a rescue plan.

The team became trapped on June 23 when flash flooding submerged part of the tunnel system they were exploring in the Chaing Rai region.

The 25-year-old coach Ekapol Chanthawong wrote in the note:  ”I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible. I want to say thanks for the support and I want to apologise to the parents.”

The notes have been published on a Thai navy Facebook page.

 In an another note one of the boys said: “Don’t worry we are all strong. Teacher don’t give us lots of homework.”

Another boy reminded his parents not to forget about his birthday party.  

The notes suggest the boys are in good spirits.

Thai cave rescue: Coach apologises to parents in handwritten note

Chanthawong has come under fire for taking the boys in to the caves so close to monsoon season, however on another Facebook page a parent of one of the boys wrote:

“Mums and dads are not angry at you. Thank you for helping take care of the kids.”

Concerns are mounting for the welfare of the team with a lack of oxygen as deadly a threat as the imminent monsoon rains, which could further flood the caves.

The question is, can rescuers keep them alive long enough to save them.

The local Governor says the boys are not ready:

"No, not today because the boys are not suitable - they cannot dive at this time."

If the 12 boys and their coach stay where they are, they risk either running out of air or drowning. But the only way out - to dive through the labyrinth - is fraught with danger too.

Former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan lost his life in the plight to save theirs. While re-supplying air tanks along the escape route, he lost consciousness underwater and died. Filming himself just days earlier, before he embarked on his volunteer mission, he said "we will get those kids home".

Rear Admiral Arpakorn Yookongkaew, Commander Royal Thai Navy Seals, says time is up for the rescue and they must act now.

"We can no longer wait for all the conditions to be right because circumstances are pressuring us. We originally thought the boys could stay safe inside the cave for quite some time, but circumstances have changed. We have a limited amount of time."

Thai government diver Songkran Yodpunkham says they have no other option and should be taking them out by diving.




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