The country’s interior minister has said the evacuation must speed up before there is more rainfall, and added that the boys will be brought out in the coming days.
Each of the teenagers will be accompanied by two expert divers as they battle through strong currents before walking 200m to the cave’s exit.
A Thai diver told Sky News It has to be perfect and (the boys) must not panic or else they won’t survive.
It is not clear how extensively the caves have flooded and how many air pockets are available to rescue teams.
It was thought that the boys and their coach, who have been stuck in the cave for 11 days, might need months of training by specialist divers before they can safely make their way out.
But the evacuation is to take place as a matter of urgency before more rain falls and exacerbates the flooding.
The interior minister’s comments have been echoed by major general Chalong Chai of the Thai army, who told Sky News the rescue will be in the coming days but as soon as possible because it is going to rain.
He added They will use the same masks as the divers but they need more time to become more skilfull. The boys are in good condition because they are sporty. I feel optimistic they will come out soon alive.
Earlier, Anupong Paojinda told The Bangkok Post As rain is forecast in the next few days, the evacuation must speed up. Diving gear will be used. If the water rises, the task will be difficult. We must bring the kids out before then.
Mr Paojinda acknowledged the difficulty of getting the boys and their coach to dive out of the cave.
He said Diving is not easy. Those who have never done it will find it difficult, because there are narrow passages in the cave. They must be able to use diving gear. If the gear is lost at any moment, it can be dangerous to life.
The paper also reported that Mr Paojinda said the boys did not know how to swim, which further complicates efforts to extract them from the cave.
Rescuers have appealed for a donation of 15 small-sized full face masks for the boys in the cave.
Thailand cave rescue How the boys were found
The comments come as it is announced that police will look into whether the 25-year-old coach of the football team could face legal action for leading them into the cave, according to Khaosoenglish.com.
The boys and their coach were trapped in the cave for 10 days before rescuers reached them.
The team are in a good condition but in need of nutrition. Their eyes, not used to light after being in the dark cave for days, would need to be protected as the trapped people emerge.
The divers that reached the trapped group were British and captured the moment on video.
Bill Whitehouse, the vice-chairman of the British Cave Rescue Council, said the British divers who reached the trapped children and coach had to dive against the current, at times having to drag themselves along the walls.
The round trip to reach those trapped was around three hours, he said.
Attempts to get the children and coach to become proficient enough in scuba diving to escape the cave will certainly not (be) easy.
Another option, Mr Whitehouse said, would be to package the children and coach. This would see the 13 people be kitted up with weights and other equipment which would allow the divers to drag them out of the cave.
Mr Whitehouse described the team that reached the boys as the A team.
If efforts to get the group out quickly cannot be achieved, there has been discussion of delivering the trapped children and their coach food to last them for four months.
The boys are around 2.5 miles (4km) from the entrance, although the British Cave Rescue Council say they are 1.2 miles (2km) in.
News Source SkyNews