DoD Personnel Assist in Thai Cave Rescue Operations

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The Thai soccer team ventured into the Tham Luang cave complex after practice and became trapped by rising waters more than a fortnight ago.

Four were rescued Sunday and another four were rescued on Monday.

Reuters could not confirm the identity of the two people brought out in the evening and the chief of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, asked about the two, declined to comment, saying a news conference would be held soon.

On Tuesday, Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, a Thai health department official, told the news site Kom Chad Luek there would be "no hugging or touching" until blood tests proved the boys were free of infections.

Giving an update on the four boys pulled from the cave Sunday, Narongsak said, "This morning, they said they were hungry and wanted to eat khao pad grapao" - a popular Thai rice dish of meat stir-fried with basil and chili peppers.

Authorities have repeatedly said the rain could re-flood crucial parts of the cave complex that have been drained and make the escape route much harder or even impossible to navigate. The boys could be quarantined for up to 48 hours.

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On Sunday, officials said it could "take days" to rescue the remaining boys and their coach.

"One of the things we have learned from previous research is that how young people are before they undergo an extreme experience like this is often a reasonably good predictor of how they will do later on after the event". There's a chance the subs won't be necessary; only four boys and their coach remain in the cave.

All four were airlifted to a hospital in the nearby city of Chiang Rai.

Relatives were able to see them through a glass partition, Narongsak said. "Hooyah", the Thai Navy SEALS wrote on their Facebook page Monday, referring to the boys' soccer team, the Wild Boars.

Additional rescue personnel, including divers from Thailand, the US, Australia, China and Europe, were stationed between the third chamber and the entrance, where the boys would have to use a rope to traverse challenging terrain. "But no one is in red condition". Food and medical supplies reached the boys the next day. "This is a catabolic state for these kids and this coach, meaning they are breaking down muscle because their physiologic state of stress is so high", she said. It takes several hours. "In terms of re-feeding and the regaining of strength, there's only a certain amount of energy that you can re-accumulate, and it doesn't happen in just a couple of days", Auerbach said. "It took 30 minutes to get out". He said he expects some of them will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. "It gives them a bit of focus, a bit of ownership over the process".

"I used to get stuck in Tham Luang cave as well", he said. "They'll avoid certain circumstances".

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