Thai Cave Rescue: How Elon Musk's 'Kid-Size' Submarine Could Assist Mission

Elon Musk shows off 'kid-sized submarine' he thinks can help in Thai cave rescue

They got trapped in the cave after a sudden spell of heavy rains blocked the entrance of the cave.

Rescuers working at a cave site in northern Thailand have suspended operations for the day after bringing four more boys out of the flooded cave system Monday, according to a witness working with the rescue team, bringing the total number of rescued boys to eight.

On Sunday afternoon, Elon Musk tweeted that the kid-size submarine his team had developed to assist with the rescue of Thai boys trapped in a cave was en route to Thailand.

Health experts also say the lack of sunlight and being in a confined space for more than two weeks can take a toll on them both physically and mentally.

The four boys pulled from the cave Sunday in an urgent and unsafe operation that involved them diving through the cave's tight and twisting passages were in good health.

Rescue teams had installed a static rope along the dive path, giving the boys a guide, and experienced divers were reportedly positioned at various points along the way for assistance. They are then taken to hospital in Chiang Rai. The same divers were deployed Monday because they were familiar the cave, authorities said.

The worldwide effort to save the group has paired divers in "buddy teams" with the remaining eight boys and their coach.

"The operation went much better than expected, " Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is overseeing the mission, said Sunday night.

"Good night. Hooyah." The boys and their coach, whose team is known as the Wild Boars, became stranded when they were exploring the cave after a practice game on June 23.

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Four boys were extracted Monday, the Royal Thai Navy confirmed.

A former Thai Navy SEAL diver died in the cave last week due to lack of oxygen.

Following the successful evacuation on Sunday, rescue personnel assessed their performance and adjusted the plan for Monday, resulting in "a smooth, coordinated operation", deputy commander of the Third Army Maj Gen Chalongchai Chaiyakham told reporters.

"I feel very happy, everybody is happy", said Hnin Jaiwong, the mother of one of the trapped boys, 13-year-old Sompong Jaiwong.

The first part of the rescue involves elite divers who are holding the boys' oxygen tanks in front of them as they are escorted through narrow submerged holes. Thai navy SEALs are leading the effort, but more than 90 rescue workers from around the world have been laboring in and around the dark, twisting cave. The families have not yet been able to interact with the boys out of fears of infection.

"The weather conditions and other environments today are as good as yesterday".

The boys are wearing special diving masks that cover their whole face as this helps them breathe more easily from their oxygen tanks.

Giving an update on the four boys pulled from the cave Sunday, Narongsak said, "This morning, they said they were hungry and wanted to eat khao pad grapao" - a popular Thai rice dish of meat stir-fried with basil and chili peppers. Kanet said the boys will be treated as disaster victims and given psychological evaluations and other assistance after their ordeal.

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