Thai Navy SEALs Successfully Rescue 12 Youth Soccer Players From Flooded Cave

Eight boys rescued from cave in northern Thailand

"I hope today we will be faster or the same speed as yesterday", Narongsak said.

"They have become the world's kids".

Here is how what the rescue chief called "Mission Impossible" unfolded over 72 hours as Thailand and much of the world anxiously awaited news of the boys' fate.

"I was surrounded by hundreds of volunteers that have been helping out with the rescue and when that final word came that all the boys had been rescued, the place erupted", Reason added.

It had been suggested the boys, members of the Wild Boars Football Club, could be invited to watch the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday.

The 12 boys, part of a football team, and their coach were stranded in Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand on June 23. They entered the cave after a soccer practice and soon found themselves trapped when heavy rains flooded the complex.

A team of British rescuers found them on July 2.

On Sunday, officials decided they could no longer wait, saying conditions were "as flawless as they will be" for a rescue attempt.

The first eight boys to exit the cave have been recovering in quarantine in Chiang Rai hospital.

Trained divers from the U.S., the U.K., Canada and elsewhere flew to Thailand to offer their expertise and help escort the team out through the flooded cave passages. The team also has plenty to look forward to. "It's towards only one goal".

Musk, the billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Inc., vowed to help rescue efforts by designing a mini-submarine that could navigate through the cave's tight canals. Thinking about how they've been kept in a small cave for two weeks, they haven't seen their mums.

Four people were then rescued from the caves in the first rescue stage, before being taken straight to hospital. Officials there reported the first four rescued can now stand up and walk, but they can't go far. Another four emerged Monday. But rescue officials were also anxious about dwindling oxygen levels in the cave.

Celebrations were tinged with sadness over the loss of a former Thai navy diver who died on Friday while on a re-supply mission inside the cave.

Rescue workers wearing protection suits wait for some of the rescued schoolboys at military airport in Chiang Rai on Monday.

Two of the boys are thought to have lung infections, but there are no serious complaints to report.

Cave diver Martyn Farr told Sky News that British divers, who located the trapped group, are the "very best divers in this field in the United Kingdom, if not the world".

"We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what", they said on Facebook. ABC News has identified the Wild Boar soccer team players Mongkol Boonbiam, Songpong Jaiwong, Ponchai Kumluang, Pipat Pothi, Duangpetch Promthep, Adul Samon, Panumat Sangdee, Peerapat Sompiangjai, Prajak Sutham, Nuttawut Takamsong, Chanin Wiboonrungrueng and Eakkarat Wongsukchan.

Four boys and their soccer coach remain in the cave.

But Thai officials, acutely aware that the boys could be trapped for months by monsoon rains that would swell waters in the cave system, seized a window of opportunity provided by relatively mild weather.

"At this moment (there are) no worrisome conditions, everyone is safe", Jesada said.



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