The 12 Thai boys trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand took swimming and diving lessons on Wednesday to prepare them in case they would need to swim and dive their way out of the cave.
Weerachon Sukondhapatipak, a deputy government spokesman, admitted there was much work to be done to prepare for the extraction of the trapped boys from the flooded cave.
He said: “Some of them can’t swim, so therefore it will take time for them to adjust. Officials would teach them how to move, how to dive, how to move their body under those circumstances.”
The boys are also being taught how to use breathing apparatus so if needed, they can be escorted out of the cave by rescue divers.
Rescuers continue to work double time draining water from the cave before expected heavy rains arrive as predicted for the coming days.
Even if rescue workers succeed in draining enough water to allow the boys to crawl most of the way out of the cave, they would still need to pass through short underwater passages.
At least, the team was on high ground and safe from flash flooding.
A team of medical personnel including a doctor and nurse from the Thai army are already by the side of the boys and their football coach. The team volunteered to be with the young footballers for as long as needed or until they are ready to get out of the cave.
The good news is the children appear to be in good condition, save for some minor wounds. The medical personnel team arrived at the mound at 11 am on Tuesday after making a six-hour dive-and-trek perilous journey via the cave entrance.
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After being given the essential medical attention, food and drinks, and blankets, the authorities are next attempting to bring in a mobile phone inside so the kids can speak to their parents.