Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Divers embark on mission to rescue final 5 trapped in Thai cave

Divers embark on mission to rescue final 5 trapped in Thai cave

Twelve young boys and their soccer coach were trapped in a cave in northern Thailand by floodwaters more than two weeks ago.

American engineer arrived in Thailand, where the operation to rescue the children from the cave.

Rescue mission chief and former governor of the Chiang Rai province Narongsak Osottanakorn said the boys were not being named out of respect for the families who still had sons trapped in the cave.

It took divers a total of 11 hours to do a round-trip rescue mission from and to the exit point of the cave, South China Morning Post reported.

An global team of rescuers has been in Thailand since the discovery of the stranded football team and their coach, assisting the Thai Navy SEALs in their rescue efforts.

A Reuters witness saw three people being carried out of the Tham Luang cave on stretchers separately on Tuesday, the third day of the rescue operation.

Two more boys are rescued from the cave.

Four boys and their football coach are waiting to make the long and arduous journey out of the cave complex.

1 NEWS' Kimberlee Downs with the latest from Chiang Rai, as four boys and their football coach await rescue. But rescue officials were also anxious about dwindling oxygen levels in the cave. Rescue operations have halted for the night and will restart on Tuesday.

"Everyone is in high spirits and are happy to get out", Jesada added.

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According to Jonathan Head, BBC's Southeast Asia Correspondent, divers will go back for the remaining four boys and their coach on Tuesday.

19 divers are said to be involved in the operation, which began at just after 10:00am local time.

"My wife actually grew up with the Thai Navy SEAL that died in the cave".

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents had been told by rescuers that the "strongest children" would be brought out first.

Today's fantastic news ends a 17-day ordeal after the boys and their coach were trapped inside the cave on June 23.

Officials said all eight of the boys were healthy, though two of the four brought out Monday did have swollen lungs.

What happens when the players are out of the cave " The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems", Jesada said.

The second group of 4 that were pulled out afterwards are aged between 12 and 14.

Soccer's governing body, FIFA, has invited the boys to the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday if they're well enough to attend.

The rescuers who found the kids brought food, and the kids were able to get their strength up before they began diving and trekking out of the labyrinthine cave network over the weekend. The mission today is more hard than in the past two days, with all nine to be brought out.

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