French divers offer to help Thai cave rescue

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By Euronews
French divers offer to help Thai cave rescue

After days of searching, rescue teams on Monday (July 2) located a school group trapped in the Tham Luang cave in Thailand.

The 12 students and their teacher are safe on high ground but a storm is expected by Friday and they need to get out.

Volunteer specialist divers from the Spéléo Secours Français have offered to help.

"What we could bring is a dozen specialists trained for speleological dives using equipment dedicated to this environment who are able to dive in troubled water without any visibility," Olivier Lanet told Euronews.

"We have developed a stretcher which can be used to move a person through floodwater even if they are unable to move on their own. And this stretcher, once in the water, weighs nothing. It floats and can be easily maneuvered by two experienced divers."

The remaining danger, Lanet expalined, is that monsoon season is just starting and, once in full swing, water levels inside the cave network will rise and could fill the chamber where the boys have taken shelter.

"If that happens," Lanet says, "it would be catastrophic."

Lanet is optimistic his team could rescue the school group in less than 12 hours:

"It would take four hours to reach the victims, perhaps two hours to teach them the basics of diving and to make two attempts. And then, probably four or five hours to bring them to the surface."