Thailand cave rescue: Boys tell parents ‘don’t worry’ in letters

Group of teenage boys with coachImage copyright
Facebook/ekatol

Image caption

A Facebook photo shows the coach with some of the missing children

The Thai boys trapped in a cave for two weeks have written letters to their parents, saying “don’t worry… we are all strong”.

The group’s handwritten notes include requests for different types of food.

“Teacher, don’t give us lots of homework!” read one. The team’s coach also offered his “apologies” to the parents in a separate letter.

The 12 boys and their coach were exploring the cave when they became trapped by flood waters on 23 June.

In his letter, the 25-year-old coach Ekkapol Chantawong reassured parents, saying: “Dear all kids’ parents, now all of them are fine, the rescue team is treating us well.

“I promise to take care of them in the best way and thanks for all the kind words. I also sincerely apologise to the kids’ parents,” he added.

The notes are the group’s first communication with their families, after attempts earlier this week to establish a phone line inside the cave failed.

What is the situation inside the cave?

The group were found inside the cave by British rescue divers on Monday, 10 days after they went missing. They were perched on a rock shelf in a small chamber about 4km (2.5 miles) from the cave mouth.

Teams of Thai and international divers have since supplied them with food, oxygen and medical attention, but there are mounting concerns about the oxygen level in the chamber, which officials said had fallen to 15%. The usual level is 21%.

The authorities in Thailand say an air line into the cave has now been successfully installed.

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Media captionNick Beake has been inside a cave complex in Chiang Rai

The danger of their situation became clear when a former Thai navy diver died after delivering air tanks to the group on Friday.

Above ground, a huge military and civilian rescue operation is racing against the clock to bring the boys to safety. Heavy monsoon rains are expected on Sunday, threatening further flooding.

Officials had initially considered leaving the boys in the chamber to wait out the rainy season, which could have seen them trapped there for up to four months.

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