The final part of the operation to rescue a boys' football team from a cave in Thailand has begun.
This is the third mission that has been undertaken by the Thai authorities in order to rescue the young boys, who became trapped in the cave by rising floodwater several weeks ago.
This final mission aims to rescue the last remaining four members of the team, as well as their coach. They'll also be bringing back three Navy SEALS and a medic who have been in the cave with the team since the first day of the rescue efforts.
Nienteen divers are said to be involved in the operation, which began at just after 10.00am local time.
The former Governor of the Chiang Rai, where the operations are taking place, Narongsak Osatanakorn, said: "We expect that if there is no unusual condition ... the four boys, one coach, the doctor and three SEALs who have been with the boys since first day will come out today."
The eight boys who have already been rescued from the cave by divers are thought to be largely healthy after their ordeal, despite having been trapped inside the cave with little food or water for more than two weeks.
A spokesperson from the Thai public health authority said that they were in 'high spirits' and also claimed that as they are football players, they have high immune systems.
Two of the boys are thought to have lung infections, but there are no serious complaints to report.
Jesada Chokdumrongsuk said that the boys are 'healthy and smiling', adding: "The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems."
Jesada Chokdumrongsuk. Credit: PA
The first four boys who were rescued the other day, aged between 12 and 16, are now allowed to eat normal food once again.
The second group of four that were pulled out afterwards are aged between 12 and 14.
Some family members have been allowed to visit the boys in hospital, but are only allowed to observe them from behind a glass window.
Tech billionaire Elon Musk also said that he has visited the site of the rescue operation and has delivered them a mini-submarine to be used if necessary.
The submarine is named 'Wild Boar' after the name of the football team.
Featured Image Credit: PA