PM offers congratulations and thanks to rescuers

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha congratulated all the officials, civilians, volunteers and foreign rescuers involved in the search and rescue operations for their success in finding the 12 boys and their football coach deep inside the Tham Luang cave on late Monday night.

He also thanked specifically the Navy SEAL teams for their sacrifice, resolve and cooperation to make the operations a success.

A government spokesman said the prime minister received an initial report at 9.45 pm which said the SEAL team had reached Pattaya Beach, but still could not locate the missing 13.  A later report confirmed that the rescuers found the boys  400 metres away.

He said the prime minister had instructed officials concerned to exercise caution in their final effort to bring all the survivors home safely.  He quoted the prime minster as saying that this unusual incident reflected the unity of the Thai people in time of a crisis.

Meanwhile, Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn told Thai PBS in a phone interview that the priority is draining of remaining flood waters out from the cave to facilitate an evacuation of the survivors.

He said he could not speculate on how long it would take before the boys could be brought out but said it would take about another four hours for doctors to determine their physical conditions before deciding when and how they should be evacuated

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