Illinois restaurant owner part of the Thai cave rescue mission to get the trapped boys to safety
The Illinois couple — Thanet Ntisri and his wife, Yada —own a Thai restaurant in Marion and are spreading the news about the tragedy through their eatery to spread awareness
A man from southern Illinois, who runs a Thai restaurant in the state, has flown to Thailand to help save the boys stranded in an underground cave for weeks.
The Illinois couple — Thanet Ntisri and his wife, Yada —own a Thai restaurant in Marion and are spreading the news about the tragedy through their eatery to spread awareness. Thanet is away leading an exploration team to pump out the water from the cave. At least eight boys out of 12 were rescued on Monday after a grueling search and rescue operation. Four more children and their 25-year-old soccer coach are still in the underground cave, awaiting help.
The boys and the soccer coach were first spotted by a team of elite British divers on Monday who volunteered to help in the search and rescue efforts. The divers — one of the best in the world — succeeded in spotting the team huddled together on a rocky slope in the darkness, emaciated.
The soccer team, which calls themselves Wild Boar, was found on Monday night after they went missing during an excursion with their coach when they decided to walk into the Tham Luang cave network on June 23 and were trapped because of the rising waters.
Thanet, who is originally from Thailand, is reportedly a groundwater expert, according to KFVS-TV. Reports state that he was conducting charity work in Thailand when the soccer team was trapped in the cave because of rising flood levels. It was then when the Thai military asked Thanet to help them in the rescue mission of the children.
Yada Ntisri said: "He's watching for sinkholes and trying to divert water from the cave so that the water level inside doesn't rise. A tough job in monsoon season, with more rain in the forecast."
Although eight children have been successfully rescued, the rescue teams are racing against the clock as a big storm and heavy rains are expected to hit on Wednesday, which could make the situation worse for the trapped boys and their coach. As the rescue team preps for further attempts to save four more boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach, the ones saved have been kept in isolation.
Reports state that health officials are now focusing on treating the children for dehydration, malnutrition and the possibility of an airborne lung infection known as "cave disease."
The disease, also known as histoplasmosis, is an airborne lung infection, which is caused by bat and bird droppings. One of the biggest concerns of the medical teams is to ensure that the boys do not develop the condition. Reports state that if left untreated the disease could spread to other parts of the body and can be fatal.
While initially the rescue operation was expected to take 11 hours, it was conducted in 8 hours time. In the case of the second time, the retrieval time was shortened by two hours with over 100 including 18 cave divers being pressed into the mission.
The rescue team also has to rest and get back their strength and also prepare equipment for the next time they go into the flooded cave. The suspension of the rescue operation, say authorities, will allow the depleted oxygen levels in the cave to recover.