No overnight rescue attempt at Thai cave as trapped boys 'cannot dive' yet

The local governor warned they "can't wait until it rains heavily and worsens the situation"

No overnight rescue attempt at Thai cave as trapped boys 'cannot dive' yet

Thai rescuers prepare to enter the cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23. Picture by: Sakchai Lalit/AP/Press Association Images

Officials in northern Thailand have confirmed there will be no attempt tonight to rescue 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a cave.

The group has now been trapped for almost two weeks, and it has been five days since divers discovered them alive on a ledge deep within the cave system.

Reports had earlier suggested divers could begin leading the boys to safety overnight, amid fears that heavy rain forecast for the weekend could complicate efforts at Tham Luang cave.

Concerns have also been raised about falling oxygen levels in the chamber where the boys are trapped.

However, local governor Narongsak Osottanakorn confirmed to reporters in a late night press conference that the boys 'cannot dive at this time' and work was continuing to come up with the best possible plan.

In comments quoted by News Channel Asia, the governor added: "We'd like minimum risk. But we can't wait until it rains heavily and worsens the situation.

"If that happens, we'll need to reassess. The key thing is the kids' readiness to dive."

He also suggested that the air is 'still alright' in the cavern, with some oxygen being pumped in via a 5km-long pipe.

Rescue efforts

Experienced divers are continuing to train the boys before leading them back through long stretches of flood waters and back to the cave entrance.

Huge amounts of water are also being pumped out of the cave in a bid to lower the water levels.

Earlier on Friday, the danger of the route involved was highlighted after it was confirmed that a former Thai Navy SEAL diver Saman Kunan had died while taking part in the rescue effort.

Officials said he had been returning from inside the waterlogged cave when his oxygen supplies ran out.

Meanwhile, up to 200 people are scouring nearby land in a bid to find shafts that could provide easier access to the area where the boys are trapped.

Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk has also said he is sending engineers to Thailand, to help in the rescue efforts and "see if we can be helpful to government".