All 12 Boys Have Been Rescued From Flooded Thai Cave
All 12 of the boys trapped in a cave in northern Thailand have now been rescued, along with their 25-year-old coach, according to reports in the Mirror.
The youngsters and their coach had been stuck in the cave since 23 June, after rising water levels trapped within the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex in Chiang Rai. They were discovered by a team of British divers on Monday, prompting an urgent, meticulously-planned rescue operation.
Initially, rescuers said the boys (who are aged between 11 and 17) might have to wait until the end of the rainy season before they could be safely brought out from the cave, which would have involved waiting several months.
But weather forecasters then said that heavy rains were expected to hit the area over the coming days and weeks, meaning water levels would rise further - and that the rescue operation had to take place much sooner.
According to a document released by the Thai authorities, the plan was that two divers would accompany each of the boys, who were being brought out in groups.
Loosely translated, it read: "Full face masks; two divers accompanying one boy; guided by a rope. When facing a very narrow path, they will release the tank from the back and slowly roll the tank and guide the boy through. They walk from chamber three to mouth of the cave."
The rescue process started at 10am local time on Sunday and involved 13 international divers and five Thai navy seals, who were referred to as 'an all-star team' by NarongsakOsatanakorn, who is the Governor of Chiang Rai province and head of the joint command centre coordinating the rescue.
Narongsak said: "Today is D-Day. The water level has reached the lowest it has been in ten days. We ask to pray that this operation is a success.
"The boys are physically and mentally fit to come out. All of the families have been told about today's operation."
Four people were then rescued from the caves in the first rescue stage, before being taken straight to hospital.
"Our operation was more successful than we expected," Narongsak said at a press briefing.
He said that a second rescue operation was planned for 10-20 hours' later, as the team had 'used all the oxygen', which would need replenishing before they could resume.
Then another four of the youngsters were successfully brought out of the cave, with the first rescue carried out shortly before 5pm local time, a few hours after the mission entered its second day.
Boys number six and seven were brought out a little over an hour later, with boy number eight spotted being taken out at about 7.40pm local time.
The Wild Boars players were all carried out on stretchers still wearing their full-face diving oxygen masks.
It is believed that the second lot of boys are in better health than the first four who were brought out first because they were deemed the 'weakest'.
Today, the four remaining boys were confirmed to have been rescued and were taken to hospital after Reuters reported that those in charge of the rescue mission were 'hopeful' all 12 boys plus the coach would be out today.
Although it's early days, reports suggest that the boys who have been checked over so far are in 'good health' following their ordeal.
According to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-chau the boys were given 'anti-anxiety' medication before they began making their journey out of the caves, the Guardian reports.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: World News