UPDATED: Timeline of the Thailand cave rescue

Armaan Dayal

The events that unfolded after 12 boys and their coach went missing inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Northern Thailand

Armaan Dayal |

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Boys rescued from the Thai cave wear masks and rest at a hospital in Chiang Rai.

July 11

The boys recover in hospital, pictures of them smiling are released on social media to quell any worry the public may have of their wellbeing

July 10

The third and final day of the rescue commences. Thai Navy Seals aim to bring all five still left in the cave out today. 

By 10pm all the boys and the coach are rescued from the cave.

The last of Thai Navy Seals, including one doctor, exit the cave some time later.

July 9

The rescue operation begins again and another four boys are rescued from the cave by 9pm.

Four boys and the coach remain in the cave. The rescue team stops for the night again due to oxygen levels and to reset the oxygen tanks.

July 8

An escape plan is crafted that pairs each boy with two divers, one of whom will hold the boy's oxygen tank. Some of the tight narrow passageways are only two feet wide.

The first divers head in at around 11am. They are forced to act sooner rather than later, due to to rising water levels. By 7pm, four boys are rescued; they are rushed to the hospital but believed to be in stable condition, according to Thai authorities.

The rescue operation stops for the night due to a fall in oxygen levels.

12 missing boys and soccer coach found alive after nine days trapped in Thai cave

July 7

Oxygen levels fell from 21% to 15%, due to a rise in the number of rescue workers entering the cave. Rescue plans are starting to take shape, but the means of rescuing the boys remain in discussion in order to ensure that the journey remains as safe as possible.

July 6

A Thai Ex-Navy Seal military diver Saman Kunont has died while exiting the cave from lack of air. The accident marks the first major setback for the rescue effort and raises questions about untrained youngsters attempting to leave the caves in the same way.

July 5

A top Thai official said that heavy rains forecast for the coming days could worsen floods in the cave, forcing authorities to speed up their extraction of the 12 boys and the soccer coach who is trapped there.

Interior Minister, Anupong Paojinda, said that the boys may need to swim out using diving equipment ahead of the bad weather forecast for later in the week. He said the boys would be brought out via the same complicated route through which their rescuers entered.

While efforts to pump out the floodwaters continue, Anupong said it’s clear some areas cannot be drained, and in order to get out, the boys may need to use diving gear while being guided by two professional divers each. He conceded that if something went awry, it could be disastrous.

Hooyah.....ทีมหมูป่า พบเยาวชนทีมหมูป่าบริเวณหาดทรายห่างจาก Pattaya beach 200 เมตร โดยนักดำน้ำหน่วยซีลดำน้ำวางไลน์เชือกนำทาง ร่วมกับนักดำน้ำจากประเทศอังกฤษ ระยะทางจากห้องโถง 3 ยาว 1,900 เมตร เมื่อเวลา 21.38 น. คืนวันที่ 2 กรกฎาคม 2561 #ThainavySEAL

Posted by Thai NavySEAL on Monday, 2 July 2018

July 2

The 12 boys and their coach are finally located 400 meters from Pattaya Beach, which they had to move away from because floodwaters had threatened their safety there.

The number one priority now becomes to supply the trapped boys and their coach with food and first aid, and then a plan to safely rescue them. It could take several months to do so, according to rescuers on site.

Thai navy captain, Anand Surawan, will arrange for food for at least four months to reach the group. Further, the boys and their coach will be trained to dive.

July 1

Taking advantage of the first break in the bad weather, divers inch further into the cave and set up an operating base.

Hundreds of oxygen tanks and other supplies are taken in to allow the divers to stay inside the cave for a longer period of time. Conditions for rescue are “improving”, says Chiang Rai governor, Narongsak Osottanakorne.

June 30

The weather finally improves, allowing divers to push further into the cave. Rescuers conduct practice evacuation drills in case the boys are found.

June 29

Rescue teams find a possible entry point. Prayuth Chan Ocha visits the site and urges everyone to not lose heart.

Reasons why the Thailand cave rescue is doing to be a difficult challenge

June 28

Limited space and the danger of the dive force authorities to temporarily halt the rescue operation. As the water is warm, hypothermia is not a pressing concern. Water pumps are used to drain the floodwater.

Drones are sent in to find chimney entrances.

June 27

More than 30 American military personnel from the US Pacific Command join 132 Thai army, navy and police officers on site. Three British diving experts, 17 US air force rescue, and other foreign experts from Japan, Australia and China fly in to help, but their efforts are rendered futile due to heavy flooding. Officials say the rescue operations have become "difficult" due to the continuous rain.

June 26

Divers are forced back several kilometres by rushing floodwaters. The juna leader of Thailand, Prayuth Chan Ocha, calls for everyone to support the rescue.

June 25

Thai Navy Seals dive into the flooded cave with sustenance for the trapped. Speculations suggest the boys would have fled to an elevated air pocket nicknamed Pattaya Beach. Shrines are built for parents to pray at.

June 24

A search involving police and park officials begins, and handprints and footprints are found. It is assumed that the boys would have been pushed back by floodwaters. A vigil is held outside the cave by relatives.

June 23

Twelve boys aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old football coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, is reported missing by the mother of one of the boys. There was no word from them after they entered the six-mile Tham Luang Nang Non cave in northern Thailand.

A search is conducted and local officials conclude that the boys must be trapped in the cave because of heavy rains and a flash flood that cut off access to the main entrance. Bicycles and shoes are found outside the entrance to the cave.

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