Eight boys rescued from flooded Thai cave

  • Eight boys rescued from flooded Thai cave

Eight boys rescued from flooded Thai cave

Osatanakorn said officials did not want to waste time because of intensifying rain that could halt rescue efforts.

So far, eight of the boys have been rescued from the cave by divers, with a third expedition today hoping to remove the remaining four boys, their 25-year-old coach, and a doctor and three divers that have been in the cave with them. "All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave", the SEAL unit said on its Facebook page, adding all were safe.

They were trapped in the Tham Luan Nang Non cave that became flooded by monsoon rains while they were exploring it after a soccer practice on June 23.

The unsafe underwater rescues - considered a last resort - involve two divers accompanying each of the boys, none of whom had experience diving before they were found on July 2.

Four boys and the coach are still to be rescued.

The ninth boy was carried from the cave on a stretcher shortly AFTER 11:00 SAST, Reuters and CNN reported.

"Any way we can help involve them in their own rescue is beneficial", he said.

On Sunday, divers held the first four boys close to bring them out, and each had to wear an oxygen mask to enable normal breathing, authorities said.

Monday's rescue effort took about nine hours, two fewer than the day before, in a sign of growing confidence and expertise.

Some 19 divers have re-entered Tham Luang Cave in northern Thailand and as with the previous rescues, two divers will escort each of the footballers out of the cave with tethers.

Rescue chief Narongsak on Sunday described their journey out, escorted by the elite divers, as "smooth". Rescue operations have halted for the night and will restart on Tuesday.

The head of the operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn, said earlier the final operation would be "more challenging" because one more survivor would be brought out, along with three Navy Seals who have been accompanying them.

After garnering headlines with initial ideas of installing a giant air tube inside the cave complex and using his firm's penetrating radar to dig holes to reach the boys, Musk offered his idea for the mini-sub. Some are not even strong swimmers, and have had to learn to dive in conditions that claimed the life of a former Thai Navy SEAL on Friday. Doctors, though, said they'll have to remain in the hospital for treatment for at least a week, insisting they can watch the big game on TV.

Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, who is leading the rescue mission, also warned today's operation could be more hard due to the increased number of people to be evacuated, but that he expected the "everyone will be out today".

"I hope that in some way our words of support may help bring them a little peace and courage in these hard moments of uncertainty and concern".

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha was scheduled to make a second visit to the scene late on Monday and the president of soccer's governing body, FIFA, Gianni Infantino, today invited the boys to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday if they make it out of the cave in time.