Australia has provided further support to the Government of Thailand’s efforts to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand.
CAPTION: A RAAF C-17A Globemaster takes off from Canberra Airport to take the first tranche of Australian personnel and equipment to Thailand to assist in the international search-and-rescue effort for children missing at a cave complex in Chiang Rai. Photo by Sergeant Ray Vance.
With the rescue effort at a critical stage, Australia has sent two more Australian Defence Force specialists with expertise in disaster recovery and planning.
An additional senior Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer has also deployed to support planning and coordination efforts.
An ADF Liaison officer and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Crisis Response Team member continues to support the rescue effort.
The team of six AFP dive specialists who arrived on Saturday 30 June will remain on site to assist the Royal Thai Navy to get essential supplies to the trapped group.
Sadly, one former Thai navy clearance diver, Petty Officer First Class Saman Kunan, died on Thursday night while conducting rescue preparatory work in the cave.
Ironically, he succumbed to a lack of oxygen while distributing scuba tanks along the narrow escape route.
Apparently, several hundred meters of the cave through which the soccer team must be extracted is so confined that people passing through it cannot wear a scuba tank on their backs.
Australia has commended the Government of Thailand’s tireless efforts in planning for the safe evacuation of the group.
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