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Fast-approaching monsoon rains complicate Thailand cave rescue

Monsoon rains brings new urgency to cave rescue
Monsoon rains brings new urgency to cave resc... 02:21

CHIANG RAI, Thailand -- It's a race against time to rescue 12 young boys and their soccer coach, trapped inside a flooded cave in Thailand. Monsoon rains are headed their way, complicating the effort to rescue them.

Crews are drilling through rocks to make room for more hoses in an effort to quickly drain water from the cave before up to five inches of rain descends on the area. They have already pumped out more than 34 million gallons of water, but so far it's not enough to safely remove the boys, who have been trapped inside for nearly two weeks.

Even with medical treatment, some of the boys are said to be showing signs of weakness and malnutrition, prompting rescue crews to pump oxygen into the chamber where they are trapped.

Portions of the potential escape route would require the boys to swim under water with dive masks to breathe. But if crews can quickly lower the water level so the boys can keep their heads above water, Thai Navy SEALs would float them through the flooded passages until they reach dry land and can walk out of the cave.

Thailand cave rescue 01:34

CBS News spoke to Tanawut, the father of an 11-year-old known as Titan, the youngest boy trapped inside. 

"I believe the SEAL team can make it happen," he said. "There is nothing they can't do, I have faith."

The father says he doesn't blame the 25-year-old soccer coach who was apparently with the boys when they entered the cave on June 23, ignoring signs that it is prone to dangerous flooding. The coach has reportedly taught the boys meditation to keep them calm and the Navy SEALs say the young soccer players are asking about the outcome of World Cup games.

Once his son is home, Tanawut said he will tell him "you are safe."

Right now, it is taking the Navy SEALs up to 11 hours round-trip to provide the boys with supplies such as food and medicine. If cave floods again, it would much more difficult to reach them.

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