First Thailand boys rescued two weeks after being trapped in cave

First Thailand boys rescued two weeks after being trapped in cave

A massive global search operation was launched and it took 10 days to locate the boys, who had taken shelter on a dry slope deep in the complex. All four boys were said to be in "perfect" condition, and safely transported to a hospital.

It is still not clear how the boys will be rescued.

The local governor in charge of the rescue says the mission was launched Sunday morning because floodwaters inside the cave are at their lowest level in days and rains forecast to hit the region risk flooding the cave again.

Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorm recently said the next phase of the rescue operation would start on Monday morning. The first group will have four boys and group two, three, and four will have three.

Cave rescue experts consider an underwater escape to be a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving.

Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit make up the main team guiding the boys to safety through narrow, submerged passageways that claimed the life of a former Thai navy diver on Friday.

"We have to place new oxygen tanks (along the route) as the previous ones have been used in today's operation", he noted.

Thai authorities are being tight-lipped about who was inside an ambulance seen leaving the site of a flooded cave Monday, as they were the night before when four of the 13 people trapped inside the underground complex were rescued. Those conditions won't last if the rain resumes, he said.

Authorities have said the monsoons could cause water to rise in the cave. That along with dwindling oxygen levels, added to the urgency of getting the team out. The operation started at 10 a.m., saying that it would take hours for the first person to be rescued, according to The Associated Press.

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"The hole is really small, I have to take off my air tank to crawl through it", a 25-year-old Thai Navy Seal told Reuters before the rescue attempt.

The Wild Boars and their coach became trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the vast cave complex after soccer practice, when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels.

The group was found dishevelled and hungry by British cave diving specialists nine days after they ventured in.

The ordeal has riveted Thailand and captured the world's attention.

The world has been watching, and an worldwide team of divers and support crews were assembled to aid the rescue.

Billionaire tech developer Elon Musk had also offered to provide assistance, in the form of a "kid-size submarine", which could arrive in Thailand early Monday, local time. Late Sunday, it posted that a fourth boy is out of the cave.

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that US personnel were on the ground at the cave site assisting in the operation. "Very courageous and talented people!" The notes were sent out with divers who made an 11-hour, back-and-forth journey. "If you ask me how long it will take, no one can answer that".

"Don't be anxious", wrote another boy, Mick. "I confirm that we are at war with water and time from the first day up to today", he said Saturday.

She believes the boys are still alive thanks to their coach.

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