Q&A: What you need to know about Thai cave rescue

By Leigh Frillici - Reporter

In another moment of triumph and relief, another four boys have been rescued from a cave in Thailand.

Twelve members of a Thai soccer team and their coach had been trapped inside the cave after they took a hike inside.

How long have they been stuck?

The latest crew to be rescued had been in the cave for more than two weeks.

Here in Houston, the Police Department's own dive instructor Eric Therkildsen and his team have been following the rescues. 

Therkildsen said he appreciates the tight spaces divers are navigating in Thailand from their own work.

“We can do below grade training below grade drives which is not quite cave diving,” Therkildsen said. “It basically is going into sewer pipes.” 

How many have been rescued so far?

Divers in Thailand have successfully rescued eight children.

What is the rescue process?

Each child was outfitted with a full face mask for the dive.

Most, if not all, of the children, have never swum before, so they're accompanied by two divers. One diver cradles the child underneath and a second diver swims behind.

PHOTOS: Insight into dive team rescue

“The benefit of putting them in front of you is if they get into a panic situation or they get stuck you can help them,” Therkildsen said.

A guideline stretched through the cave's 2 miles of channels and total darkness has played a crucial role in the rescues 

“It's a highway that keeps them from (veering) off track and getting lost,” Therkildsen said.

How many remain left?

Four children and their soccer coach now remain in the cave.  As oxygen levels drop, the urgency to get them out increases. 

“It affects how well they can function, how well they can think,” Therkildsen said. “It makes them a little more lethargic, so yes it affects everything.”