Missing boys soccer team found alive after 9 days

Rescuers walk out of the entrance to a cave complex where 12 soccer team members and their coach went missing in Mae Sai Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand Saturday

Missing boys soccer team found alive after 9 days

The boys pictured shortly before their disappearance.

"How many of you?" the rescuer asks. The British Cave Rescue Council said the boys are "located in a relatively small space and this would make any potential drilling attempt as a means of rescue very hard". "You are very strong".

One of the boys then says: "Thank you so much". The next challenge will be getting the group out of the cave.

In addition to the divers, teams have been working to pump out water as well as divert groundwater. "Today we aim to have 600 air cylinders in the cave, so the team can operate and stay in the cave without coming out", he said.

The governor added that authorities are also trying to send food into the cave but were unsure if "they can eat it or not because it is nearly 10 days".

"They are all safe but the mission is not completed", the Chiang Rai governor said. He said the boys would be brought out via the same complicated route through which their rescuers entered.

"In theory, human beings can last 30 days (without food)", Mr Narongsak told reporters while the search was still ongoing, before the team was found.

The massive rescue effort had been hampered by heavy rains that flooded the Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand, blocking access to chambers where it was hoped the group would be found alive. Basically, they're looking at either instructing the trapped boys on how to dive, or waiting up to four months for the water to recede.

It's been revealed that two British divers, John Volanthen and Rick Stanton, were the first to reach the trapped team.

In video posted on Facebook by Thai Navy SEAL special forces, one can be heard speaking in English to the group, as they sit on a ledge above water in a cavern, picked out by torchlight.

Anmar Mirza, the US National Cave Rescue Commission co-ordinator, said the primary decision is one of whether to try to evacuate them or to supply them in place.

Relatives of the boys, who have been at a shelter near the cave hoping for a breakthrough, were seen cheering, smiling and receiving calls after being given the news. Rescuers shook hands and congratulated each other as occasional cheers broke out.

Having been underground for so long, it appears that the group were confused as to what day it was.

Worrying predictions of heavy rains later this week mean rescuers must scramble to shuttle help and supplies to the stranded kids.

"As of now we have not yet reached Pattaya Beach", he said.

Cave rescue experts have said it could be safer to simply supply them where they are for now, rather than attempting to have the boys dive out.

"Our mission is to search, rescue and return", he said.

He said that "if the dives are hard then supply (ing the group on site) will be hard, but the risk of trying to dive them out is also exponentially greater".

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