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Thai Rescue: How To Help The Boys Survive Months In A Cave

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Twelve boys and their football coach have been found alive in a cave in Thailand, after being missing for nine days. But the group may need to stay in the cave up until October, when the flood waters that stranded them there are expected to subside. The boys and their coach are likely to face extreme physical and psychological challenges while they wait.

Are they all okay?

According to Narongsak Ostanakorn, governor of the local Chiang Rai region, none of them are in critical condition, but some may have injuries. They have now been given a supply of painkillers, plus antibiotics as a preventative measure.

What are their most urgent needs?

Survival in extreme conditions depends on access to a few key resources: oxygen, stable and habitable temperatures, water, and food – in that order, according to Mike Tipton, a physiologist at the University of Portsmouth, UK. “If you can tick the first boxes, you’re looking at weeks of survival. In any survival situation, you just go through that hierarchy,” says Tipton.

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