Coach of Thai boys trapped in cave offers apology to parents

Rescue personnel arrive as rescue operations continue for 12 boys and their coach trapped at Tham Luang cave at Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province

Thai military officials have been briefed, the source said, and the country's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was to be told about the plan Saturday morning. At this time though, diving is the only possible method of escape, even though cave rescue experts warn it is extremely unsafe even for those with experience.

His death came during a rush to try and take advantage of lower flood waters, rather than waiting weeks or months to extract the trapped boys. Earlier efforts to pump out water from the cave have been set back every time there has been a heavy downpour.

He says: "The plan that I've held on to from the beginning is that we have to bring the kids out and the determining factor of this plan is to have as little water as possible".

"Despite this, we will continue until we accomplish our mission", Arpakorn said. It is only a small battle we've won, but the war has not ended.

"We are still at war with water and time", Osottanakorn also said.

The Thai youth soccer team that has been trapped in a flooded cave for two weeks will not be evacuated Friday, officials said - despite plummeting oxygen levels and monsoon rains expected to hit soon.

The boys sounded calm and reassuring in handwritten notes to their families that were made public Saturday. "Tell Yord, prepare to bring me fried chicken to eat".

"Don't be anxious, I miss everyone".

"I love you, Dad, Mum and my sister".

First message reads "I love dad, mom, and big brother".

"Love you Mom and Dad, don't worry, I'm safe already".

Boys trapped in a Thai cave wrote letters to their parents on Friday, telling them to "be strong" and not to worry. "But don't worry. But don't forget my birthday". They have also asked their teachers not to give them lots of homework.

He said heavy rains last week had the effect of a "tsunami" inside the narrow and jagged cave network where the boys became stuck on 23 June.

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In his letter, the 25-year old apologized and vowed to take care of the boys.

"To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care", he said. I promise I will take care of the children the best I can.

"Thank you for all the moral support and I apologise to the parents". He said while oxygen levels have been adequate for the young men to survive in the cave, levels of carbon dioxide are on the rise, and rain could increase flooding and reduce the size of the dry space where they have been sheltering, some two kilometers into the cave system.

A scrawled message emerges from the coach of the team, offering his "apologies" to their parents.

Ake, the boys' coach, wrote a letter to relatives, saying: "To my grandma, I'm ok, I'm fine".

Experts say divers have required three hours to reach the boys, located about 2.5 miles from the mouth of the cave. The 13 are having health evaluations and rehabilitation, and being taught diving skills.

Osottanakorn also said the rescue team had established a line to pump fresh air into the cave.

Tragic Saman Kunan, 38, died from a lack of oxygen as he left air tanks along a potential exit route.

"Those unrelated to the rescue operation, please evacuate the area immediately".

The strategically placed canisters allow divers to stay underwater for longer during what is about a five-hour trip to reach the stranded team.

"No matter how well prepared they are for this and no matter what they do and the professionalism of those involved, there is going to be an inherent risk with this".

In a sign of increased urgency, Thai rescuers say they may be prodded into a complex extraction if forecast rains hammer the mountainside.

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