AFP or licensors

"If it rains too much, we'll have to stop the rescue"

Ben Reymenants, the Flemish diver involved in the rescue of the members of a Thai youth football team stuck in a cave, has identified the leaking of face masks during the journey out of the caves as the biggest danger facing the rescue operation.

The operation to rescue the boys has started. Ben Reymenants was involved in the preparations: “Getting to the boys means swimming against the current.  The route back is easier because you are swimming with the current. The idea is to bring out the boys in groups of four. The youngsters are thin, but mentally fit.”

"Masks were ordered in Italy, especially for kids. Normal masks are quite large because they are made for professional divers.  I hope the masks fit the kids, who have lost weight."

The youngsters will never have to dive very deep, but it remains dangerous.  Water levels have fallen by three metres in three days thanks to the pumping away of water.  A third of the route now consists of air bubbles.  There you can breathe normally and swim on the surface.  Some parts of the route are very narrow only half a metre wide. Ben Reymenants: "It will be stressful getting the kids through those bits."

Meanwhile the rains have started.

Ben Reymenants: "I hope this doesn't make it too difficult.  If it rains too much we'll have to stop the rescue."