Trapped Thai cave boys write heartfelt notes to parents as football coach apologises

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The football coach trapped in a Thai cave with 12 boys has apologised to their parents as the youngsters sent out heartfelt notes describing their plight.

The group of boys and 25-year-old Ekapol Chanthawong have been inside the cave in Chiang Rai for two weeks after floodwater blocked their escape route.

Officials say they are not ready to dive out yet following the death of a former Thai Navy SEAL who ran out of oxygen during the rescue mission.

In a note handed to a diver on Friday, Mr Chantawong promised to take care of the trapped children.

“To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care,” he said.



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Stranded boys say they are in good health

“I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible. I want to say thanks for all the support and I want to apologise to the parents.”

Members of the youth football team also left touching notes for their families, many of whom have kept an anxious vigil outside the cave for a fortnight.

One boy wrote: “I’m doing fine, but the air is a little cold but don’t worry. Although, don’t forget to set up my birthday party.”

Another named Tun said: “Mum and Dad, please don’t worry, I am fine,” before adding that he wanted to go for fried chicken when he was out of the cave.

One boy named Mick wrote: “Don’t be worried, I miss everyone. Grandpa, uncle, mum dad, and siblings I love you all. I’m happy being here inside, the navy SEALS have taken good care. Love you all.”

Another boy named Bew, whose family are shopkeepers, said: “Don’t worry dad and mum. I have been away for two weeks but will come back and help you sell your stuff.”

A boy named Dom said he was “fine but the weather here is a little cold”.

Rescuers say they will not immediately attempt an underwater evacuation because the boys have not yet learned adequate diving skills.

But if heavy rains start again, divers will try to remove the boys right away.

Thai rescue workers and technicians are seen at the Tham Luang cave area  Trapped Thai cave boys write heartfelt notes to parents as football coach apologises skynews thai cave tham luang 4354986
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Thai rescue workers and technicians are seen at the Tham Luang cave area

The boys, who are aged 11 to 16, are being trained in the basics of diving in case the flood waters force authorities into a sudden evacuation through twisting and jagged passageways.

The football coach’s message is the first time he has spoken publicly after facing criticism for agreeing to take the young boys into the cave during the monsoon season.

More from Thailand Cave Rescue

A massive rescue operation is under way, with high-powered pumps working round-the-clock to reduce the water level inside the cave.

Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk is sending a team of engineers to help with the mission.



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