Rescue Operation To Save The Thai Football Team Is Underway
The operation to rescue the Thai football team trapped in a cave has begun this morning.
Rescuers have started to enter the cave, with a team of international diving experts attempting to free the 12 schoolboys and their 25-year-old coach.
Governor of Chiang Rai province, Narongsak Osatanakorn, 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."
The rescue started at 10 am Thai time and involved 13 international divers and five Thai navy seals, who were described by Governor Narongsak as 'an all-star team', reports the Daily Mail.
It was expected that the boys would not have to dive to get out of the cave - as had been previously predicted - because the cave system would largely be walkable, according to officials.
Rescuers have suggested that it may take up to two days for the rescue to be completed, with each boy being brought out individually.
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Additionally, the continuance of the rescue operation is dependent on the weather holding out, with rain potentially causing delays.
It was reported that heavy rain was falling at the media centre, around a mile from the cave entrance, which could scupper plans to get the boys out today.
Millions of gallons of water have been removed from the caves in the last week in an attempt to make it passable for the rescuers and the trapped football team.
When the boys are freed, they will immediately be taken to Chiangrai Prachanukroh hospital, around 60 miles from the cave site.
The football team have been in the cave since 23 June, when rising water levels trapped them inside.
They were discovered by a team of British divers on Monday and rescue operations have been meticulously planned all week.
According to a document released by the Thai authorities, two divers will accompany each of the teenagers.
Loosely translated, it reads "Full face masks; two divers accompanying one boy; guided by rope. When facing a very narrow path, they will release the tank from back and slowly roll tank and guide the boy through. They walk from chamber three to mouth of the cave."
Featured Image Credit: PA