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MAE SAI, Thailand — The soccer coach trapped in a cave with 12 Thai boys apologized to their parents in the first letter he and the team have sent out through divers, in which the boys say they’re doing well and missing their families.
Rescuers said they won’t immediately attempt an underwater evacuation because the boys have not yet learned adequate diving skills. But if heavy rains start again, divers will try to take the boys out right away, Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said at a midnight news conference on Friday. The same day saw a disheartening setback with the death of a former Thai navy SEAL diving in flooded passageways to deliver oxygen supplies.
The article goes on to state the following:
“To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care. I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible. I want to say thanks for all the support and I want to apologize to the parents,” wrote 25-year-old Ekapol Chanthawong, the coach of the Wild Boars soccer team.
One boy writes: “I’m doing fine, but the air is a little cold but don’t worry. Although, don’t forget to set up my birthday party.”
Another, identified as Tun, writes: “Mom and Dad, please don’t worry, I am fine. I’ve told Yod to get ready to take me out for fried chicken. With love.” The name reference could be of a waiting relative.
The rest of the scribbled letters on pages from a notebook struck a similar message of love for parents and telling them not to worry.
One boy named Mick wrote: “Don’t be worried, I miss everyone. Grandpa, uncle, mom dad, and siblings I love you all. I’m happy being here inside, the navy SEALS have taken good care. Love you all.”
The boys, 11 to 16, and their coach went exploring in the cave after a soccer game June 23. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days. The only way to reach them was by navigating dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents and in oxygen-depleted air.
Asked at his news conference about bringing the boys out underwater, the governor replied, “Not today because they cannot dive at this time.”
According to the report, it takes divers 5 hours to reach the stranded team.
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