THE father and brother of a Ruan Major woman are working around the clock to rescue 13 youngsters who have been trapped in a Thailand cave for ten days.

Phansa Takun, who runs a Thai food takeaway on the Lizard Peninsula with her husband Tristan Hunt, has been in daily contact with her family as they face a race against time in a terrifying story which has attracted global attention.

Tristan, aged 37, said: "They were part of the first response team on scene after receiving a call at 2am last Sunday. The boys and their coach had been adventuring and had gone into the cave at around 2pm on Saturday afternoon, before heavy rain trapped them inside.

"Phansa's brother Torr is helping to pump the water away in the cave, but they are only able to lower the level by one centimetre a day because the water table is so high - and there's more storms forecast."

"I lived in Thailand with Phansa for nine years so I know the area well. I wish there was something we could do to help."

Phansa's father Sonboon, aged 62, is in charge of supplies and tools as part of the mission, having worked for the Thai government's rescue team for many years.

The 12 lads and their 26-year old coach have been stuck on a silt embankment five kilometres into the cave, after heavy rain raised the lagoons to the point at which they could not get out.

"They have spoken to the lads and they say that they are moving as little as possible to preserve energy and are drinking water which is dripping from the stalactites in the cave.

"It looks as if they will all have to learn to dive in order to get out, otherwise they could be stuck there for months while they wait for the water to subside.

"Apparently there is a big rocky lip underwater, which means they would have to swim down five metres in order to get out.

"Thai kids are very resilient, but I'm not sure if there is a fresh air supply in the cave, so the carbon dioxide levels could be building up," Tristan added.

Divers reached them nine days after they entered the caves in the hilly northern area of the country, which is now in monsoon season.

Food and medicine is being supplied to them and a phone line is even being installed so the boys can talk to their families.