New Footage Shows Trapped Soccer Team Smiling, Wearing Space Blankets
An international rescue effort is now working on getting the soccer team and their coach to safety, which could take months.
New footage of the Thai junior soccer team trapped in a flooded cave has emerged, showing the boys wrapped in space blankets and even cracking the odd smile.
The 12 boys, aged 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach have been trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex for almost two weeks, becoming trapped when a sudden monsoon flooded the caves and forced them to seek temporary safety in an air pocket.
An international rescue effort finally reached the boys on Tuesday, about 4km away from the entrance and some 400m further than where rescue divers were aiming for.
New footage released by the Thai Navy Seals shows the boys huddled in space blankets delivered to them by rescue divers.
They raise prayer hands to the camera, and one boy even cracks a smile for the camera as others laugh.
The rescue effort could take months, with a debate on whether to wait out the monsoon season, teach the boys to dive the complex cave system, or even drill down from above.
Each option poses its own risks, with the rescue team not confirming if they're leaning one way or the other.
"These environments are horrendously difficult," Alan Warild from NSW Cave Rescue told Ten Eyewitness News on Tuesday.
"Even to come through a squeeze hole, under the water, you can imagine closing your eyes, trusting someone, pulling you through where you're coming obstructed... It would be just the ultimate willpower not to panic."
In the meantime, the boys have been provided with energy gel to sustain them, and there are plans to get enough food in to last them months.
Doctors and nurses have medically checked the team and found them to have sustained only minor injuries.