First Four Boys Rescued From Thai Cave

Thai rescue teams arrange water pumping system at the entrance to a flooded cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23 in Mae Sai Chiang Rai provin

Rescue operation begins for 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Thailand

However, there has been no official word on this so far.

Four members of a youth soccer team in Thailand have been rescued from a cave where the group has been trapped for more than two weeks.

Rescuers have started to enter the cave, with a team of worldwide diving experts attempting to free the 12 schoolboys and their 25-year-old coach.

"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.

"Now and in the next three or four days, the conditions are flawless [for evacuation] in terms of the water, the weather and the boys' health", Narongsak told reporters.

The journey out the caves is risky and has already resulted in a former Thai Navy diver dying in the caves earlier in the week. Time is of the essence, though, as heavy monsoons are expected to cause a rise in water levels in the cave.

The operation was launched at 10 am local time (0400 CET) on Sunday and involves 13 foreign divers and 5 Thai navy SEALs.

A source at the Chiang Rai hospital said that five emergency response doctors were awaiting the boys and a further 30 doctors were on standby.

Soldiers carry a pump to help drain the rising floodwater in a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, July 6, 2018.

Mr Osatanakorn said a one-mile passage from the cave entrance to the third chamber, a staging ground for the mission, was "mostly walkable", adding: 'Although there are some slightly hard parts [where] we have to bend or crawl, we can say that we can just walk through it.

The group became trapped on June 23 when they started exploring the caves after going on a picnic following football practice.

His visit with relatives and rescue officials last week was criticised by some Thais as opportunistic as his government faced pro-democracy protests in the capital Bangkok in recent months.

Narongsak said efforts to remove floodwater and divert water flows have been "very successful", but seasonal monsoon rains are forecast to hit the region this weekend and throughout next week.

"The operation went much better than expected", said Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is overseeing the mission.

Drilling has been ruled out as a possibility in the rescue attempt, one official said.

"I confirm that the kids know about the mission and they are willing and ready to come out".

"The water level has reached the lowest it has been in ten days".

After the boys emerge from the cave, they will be taken in an ambulance to be evacuated from the cave site via helicopter, provided weather conditions are safe for flying.

American technology entrepreneur Elon Musk even deployed engineers from his private space exploration firm SpaceX and Boring Co.to help. "Very courageous and talented people!"

Thais were quick to jump onto social media on Sunday night to celebrate the rescue of the initial four.

According to a document released by the Thai authorities, two divers will accompany each of the teenagers.

One of the boys, identified as Tun, wrote: "Mom and Dad, please don't worry, I am fine".

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