Thai officials clear media from cave site 'to help' trapped boys

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

The coach's message was among the brief but emotional notes written by each of the 12 boys on seven pieces of paper.

There has not yet been official confirmation of a rescue attempt, however. That could take months, however, given that Thailand's rainy season typically lasts through October.

"[It's] looking like there will be very heavy rain by about midday local time and then continuing for most of the afternoon and potentially into tomorrow", ABC correspondent Anne Barker told ABC News.

But he added a significant rider - that if the forecast heavy rains arrived, diving teams would attempt to pull the boys out rapidly.

The boys' parents responded to Akkapol, writing: "Dear Coach, Ake, We, as your soccer team member's parents believe in you and your spirit that you've been taking a good care of our kids". The tunnels are pitch black. "It's going to be muddy water".

The banks along the road leading to the cave's entrance are now a freshwater stream, used by exhausted rescue workers each morning to bathe.

They are hoping that an upgraded draining effort can lower the water in an area where it is still at or near the ceiling.

The Thai defence ministry said a team from a Musk firm with drilling and exploration knowhow should reach the cave on Sunday.

Such hopes have now vanished, replaced instead with a mounting sense of urgency.

But the best window for a rescue could come soon, authorities said prior to Saturday night's rain. But authorities said it remained unclear how long the boys would have to remain inside.

They noted his aunt was waiting for him at the cave's entrance as well.

There are no easy decisions. The divers have been bringing the team medical supplies and food. Floodwaters have been drained as much as possible, Osatanakorn said. "I miss everyone. I want to go back now".

Doctors, medics and counsellors visited the "Wild Boar" football team, along with Thai Navy SEAL divers, to give them medicines and food.

The boys' parents had written to them earlier.

"We estimate that (they) are 600 meters down, but we don't know the (exact) target", he said.

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The danger of the situation became clear when a former Thai navy diver died after delivering air tanks to the group on Friday.

No one in Mae Sai is prepared to think the worst, let alone say it aloud.

The death of former Thai navy Seal Saman Gunan underscored the risks of making the underwater journey.

Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind the Tesla automobile and the SpaceX rocket company, has said he would send engineers to help.

But it is the families of the children who feel these questions most keenly.

But Bew's parents were most concerned with their son's well-being.

"I'm afraid that the parents will begin to think the same thing will happen to their son", said Radap Tate, of the Navy SEAL's death on Friday. His parents are reportedly keeping his birthday cake in the fridge.

"When we're in a confined space, if the oxygen drops to 12 percent the human body starts to slow down and people can fall unconscious", Narongsak said.

Teams of Thai and global divers have since supplied them with food, oxygen and medical attention, but there are mounting concerns about the oxygen level in the chamber, which officials said had fallen to 15%.

"Despite this, we will continue until we accomplish our mission", Arpakorn vowed.

"Tonight, more than likely we will be spending the night up there in the forest".

"We are racing against time and shoulder all the expectations". Another option would be to drill a hole into the cave and airlift the boys out.

His comment came in sharp contrast to his pronouncement just 12 hours earlier, when he said the boys were not ready for such an arduous task.

Warild suggested a compromise that would buy the rescuers some time: find a safe halfway point where the boys and rescue divers could take shelter if the cave refloods. The will to succeed is strong and people here will not give up.

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