Thai rescue teams searching for 12 boys trapped in a water-soaked cave practiced evacuation and medical procedures on Saturday as the desperate search went into the seventh day.
There has been no contact with boys aged 11-16 years of their coaches since they came into the cave last weekend and were trapped by heavy rains blocking the entrance.
These rains have been stopping all week, hindering the huge rescue efforts to find the boys and their 25-year-old coach.
Medical teams held exercises on Saturday to prepare for their potential salvage, as concerns arose over how the boys could be pulled out of the Tham Luang Cave when and if found.
Ambulances and helicopters were ready for the exercises
"It's a system for practicing what to do until we can transport them to the hospital," said Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn late in the day Friday in Chiang Rai province.
When the search for the boy reached its seventh day, the attentions devoted themselves to survival in a cave with little or no food and light.
The boys may have access to fresh water – either dripping through rocks or running through the entrance – but experts warn that water from nearby farms could carry dangerous chemicals or bacteria.
"If they drink the water in the caves and make them sick, that could speed up the problem, but if they do not drink, they are in trouble too," said Anmar Mirza, coordinator of the US National Caves Rescue Commission to AFP.
But even without food, he said young, athletic boys could "easily live for a month or a month and a half", but the biggest challenge now would be mental resolve.
"The biggest problem they are facing when they are alive is psychological because they do not know the point of being saved," said Mirza from Indiana.
– & # 39; promise & # 39; ch imney –
Thai Navy SEAL divers explored the cave's entrance, where muddy, fast-flowing waters make exploring difficult and water pumps work around the clock to keep the water level low.
But it was a lost battle
"Whenever the water goes down, divers dive into the cave immediately," Thai Navy SEAL said on its Facebook page.
Several teams wandered the dense jungle over the cave, desperately looking for new openings
They found a "promising" entrance on Friday leading down to a muddy chamber 40 meters (130 feet), Narongsak said Governor.
But there was still no evidence of the main cave complex.
"We have turned our staff into the chimney since yesterday, they are inside and still looking for their results," said Surachai Thathes, head of the rescue team for the North Park, AFP 9020] said teams of foreign experts, including more than 30 US military personnel have boarded about 1,000 Thai rescuers on remote mountain terrain near the border with Laos and Myanmar.
Also Australians, Chinese and Japanese joined them] Stone-faced relatives woke up in an improvised tent where monks conduct prayers.
Tham Luang stretches for 10 kilometers and is one of the longest and hardest caves in Thailand with its intricate winding paths. 19659024] Officials said the boys knew the site well and visited it frequently, raising the hope that they would have gone to a large, airy chamber in the center of Pattaya Beach.
Rescue divers continue to fight muddy, fast-flowing waters, while water pumps work around the clock to keep the water level low
A team of British cave divers explored an opening in the mountain above the cave complex, desperately searching for new openings lead to the captive boys