Thai soccer team members rescued from cave

Thai soccer team members rescued from cave

On Tuesday, ABC News confirmed that all 12 boys and their coach had been rescued after an global team of rescuers worked diligently to extricate the youth soccer team trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand.

Four of the boys were rescued on Sunday, and authorities said the next phase could begin any time within a 10-hour window that began about 7 a.m. Monday.

The "Wild Boars" soccer team, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach became trapped on June 23 while exploring the cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels.

He said the next operation will be conducted on Tuesday.

Thai public television has aired live video of a medivac helicopter landing close to a hospital in the city of Chiang Rai, near the site of the cave where a youth soccer team has been trapped for more than two weeks. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

At a news conference Monday, former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn said the second rescue involved numerous same divers who brought the four boys out on Sunday. The fellow classmates and teachers from the same school have described to the press the preparations they have made for the boys.

"Today was the best day, the best situation in terms of the weather, the health of the boys, our water management for our rescue effort", the governor said. In total, 13 foreign cave divers and five Thai Navy SEAL divers participated in Sunday's rescue, according to Reuters.

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Efforts are expected to restart on Monday as low water levels in the cave have provided a brief window for a safer rescue.

Initial euphoria over finding the boys alive quickly turned into deep anxiety as rescuers struggled to find a way to get them out. Two others were brought out about two hours later.

Rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told journalists near the Tham Luang cave site: "Today is the D-day".

Rescue teams had installed a static rope along the dive path, giving the boys a guide, and experienced divers were reportedly positioned at various points along the way for assistance. After discussions with the team in Thailand, Musk tweeted that SpaceX engineers were eight hours away from completing a submarine that was capable of rescuing the stranded boys.

"Clearly there is a huge risk of someone panicking if they are not used to the diving environment", Tony Haigh, a spokesman for the British Cave Rescue Council, which had two divers that found the boys, told the Post. An Australian doctor with cave diving experience examined the boys on Sunday and declared them fit for the operation. The attempts were not successful early on but there has been a break from the rain. The team is huddled in an enclosed area of the cave, in which oxygen levels are falling, and the incoming rain could end up shrinking the unflooded space to around 100 square feet.

The rescues were carried out with each diver holding a boy's body underneath him as they swam through the cave, the boy breathing a supply of oxygen, Narongsak said.

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