THAM LUANG CAVE, Thailand – Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha on Friday spoke encouragingly to the families of 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave complex and promised to continue a massive search  "Until they come out, the officers will never leave them," Prayuth said during his visit to about 75 relatives, in which he also inspected the cave entrance and spoke with officials who led the closely-watched search.
Later, however, officials confirmed that they had to overcome many obstacles in their search for boys aged 11 to 16 and their 25-year-old coach, who have been missing since Saturday afternoon.
Now, he said, he could not predict when rescuers would find them, even under the best conditions.
"That's the question I can not answer," he said. "We do not want to guess, but we try our best."
The group is located in the Tham Luang Cave, a popular destination for explorers in northern Thailand.
The cave complex was relatively dry when the team entered six days ago. But since then, heavy rains have driven the floods inside, cutting off the team's only escape and making the way virtually impassable for rescuers.
The governor said on Friday afternoon that the searchers had ridden about 40 meters into a newly discovered chimney and into a muddy chamber. They explored it for an opening in the main cave system.
"What will be the result?" He asked. "We can not answer, but we will continue to work."
The football team is said to have run at least three miles and reached a large cave called Pattaya Beach.
Despite repeated efforts, well-trained cave divers were successful Only once, when he made it through muddy waters and narrow passages beyond the flood zone, Mr. Narongsak said. Once there, he said, they would have little time to search before they had to turn back.
And after this success, he said, the water level continued to rise.
The government has brought more than 40 pumps to the city trying to reduce the amount of water. Nonetheless, the water level continued to rise.
Friday, he said, was the first day the pumps could keep up with the amount of water entering the cave.
"We think it's progress," he said, "but today we have the same rate."
A separate plan to drill a hole from the top of the mountain into the Pattaya Beach Cave also had problems.
Workers Must First Analyze the Rock with Sophisticated Scan Equipment Typically, it is used in mining to determine where the roof of the cave is thinnest, said Niwat Boonnop, director of the region's Mineral Resources Office, Tham Luang
Finding the right equipment and finding out how to transport it. www.dlr.de/de/DesktopDefault.aspx/t…mage.1.3579/ The search for the rugged mountain peak has proven to be difficult. as well as the detection of a drill and a power generator, which could be flown by helicopter.
At some point of the week, a search team found a tight opening over the cave, dropping food O ther supplies. But there was no way to know if it reached the football team.
The Prime Minister 's visit reflected how significant the search and rescue operation has become for the country. Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…=view&id=167 King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun said he closely followed the events and helped bring the attention of government officials to attract attention
. Prayuth, head of the Thai military government, talked to family members for about 30 minutes and sometimes went on topics such as politics and gardening.
He encouraged parents to meditate to reduce their stress and eventually "She talked a lot," said Kiang Khamluang, whose son Pornchai, 16, is one of the missing persons. "He talked about agriculture, he talked about other things, because when he talked about the children all the time, we became more stressed."
Aikan Vibulrungroj, whose son is Chanin, 11, the youngest in the group, added: "He also said that he will not leave the children and the rescue team will work to help them."
"He told us to keep fighting," Ms. Kiang said.