Four boys rescued from Thailand cave; rescue efforts will continue tonight

Four boys rescued from Thailand cave; rescue efforts will continue tonight

Four boys rescued from Thailand cave; rescue efforts will continue tonight

Expert divers Sunday rescued four of 12 boys from a flooded cave in northern Thailand where they were trapped with their soccer coach for more than two weeks, as a unsafe and complicated operation unfolded amid heavy rain and the threat of rising water underground.

When the first two rescued boys made it out of the cave, they were placed into ambulances, taken to a helicopter and rushed to a hospital.

On Saturday, Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osoththanakorn had told reporters a rescue attempt was expected in the next few days, but that the onset of monsoon rains could trigger an earlier operation. A defence ministry official earlier told AFP six boys had "come out".

Meanwhile, as CNN reported on Sunday, the rescue effort in Thailand has assembled divers and Navy Seal personnel from various countries including the United States and Thailand itself, which saw one elite diver die on Friday during the operation to save the boys. During the briefing, he said, "Today was the best situation - in terms of kids' health, water, and our rescue readiness". He found kindred spirits in the boys, many of whom had grown up poor or were stateless ethnic minorities, common in this border area between Myanmar and Thailand.

After a short deluge of rain on Saturday night and with more bad weather forecast, Narongsak on Sunday said authorities had to act immediately.

Governor of Chiang Rai province, Narongsak Osatanakorn, said: "Today is D-Day".

A team of 13 global cave diving experts and five Thai Navy SEALs are carrying out rescue operations, according to a report of the CNN.

Narongsak said that there was no time limit on the rescue and that its progress would depend on weather and conditions inside the cave, but expected it to last through Monday.

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Two divers were to accompany each of the boys, all of whom have been learning to dive only since July 2, when the first searchers found them. "Finding the boys doesn't mean we've finished our mission".

Authorities are racing against time to rescue the boys and the coach of the soccer team, who have been stranded in the cave for more than two weeks now.

The football team have been in the cave since 23 June, when rising water levels trapped them inside.

More than 100 exploratory holes were also bored - some shallow, but the longest 400 metres deep - into the mountainside in an attempt to open a second evacuation route and avoid forcing the boys into the unsafe dive.

"We will still maintain our planned mission and the two main obstacles are time and water", a spokesperson said.

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. It was not immediately known if a US diver was among them. One boy's note said: "I'm doing fine, but the air is a little cold, but don't worry".

"Don't be anxious, I miss everyone".

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