Thailand cave rescue operation reaches ‘critical’ stage

Australian Federal Police remain on hand in Thailand, assisting with the complex operation to rescue twelve boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave.

Rescuers found the boys, aged between 11 and 16, inside the Thai Tham Luang cave on Tuesday.

The rescue effort to bring them to safety has now reached a critical stage, with AFP saying “important decisions need to be taken on when and how to evacuate the group given the challenges of sustaining them in their current location and the dangers in evacuating them through high water levels.”


It’s understood Thai Navy divers have transported enough food and water to last the group two weeks, as well as space blankets.

“The AFP dive team and Australian support staff remain closely engaged in efforts to support and sustain the group, as well as in planning,” AFP said in a statement.

“This includes supporting the Royal Thai Navy to transport food, water and first aid supplies into the cave system through to the group.”

“The team are also working with the Royal Thai Navy and international responders to put in place air tanks and diving equipment, which will be necessary to safely evacuate the group.”

Authorities say the rescue operation is being undertaken in challenging conditions and in tight areas that can be difficult to manoeuvre through.

The boys, who aren’t familiar with swimming, are currently being taught how to use scuba gear with the hope they may try and make their way out of the cave one by one.