Four cave boys safe, rescue set to resume

Four cave boys safe, rescue set to resume

Each of the rescued boys had two divers with them at all times during the operation.

Thai authorities told media today to leave a camp site near the cave where 12 boys and their coach have been trapped for more than two weeks so that "victims" could be helped, possibly signalling a long-awaited rescue effort to get them out.

Of the 13-strong foreign dive team - mainly from Europe - three escorted the children, while the remainder were positioned along the unsafe first kilometre stretch, where the boys had to navigate through submerged passageways in some places no more than two feet (0.6 metre) wide.

The group became trapped on June 23 when they started exploring the caves after going on a picnic following football practice.

Photo taken on July 8, 2018 shows that the first two boys are transfered to the field hospital after being brought out near the cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand. His colleagues said they would "not let the sacrifice of our friend go to waste".

The dozen boys between the ages of 11 and 16 are accompanied by their 25-year-old coach.

Diving teams and medical personnel entered the cave at 10:00 local time (03:00 GMT), rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters on Sunday. The rescue operation has come to a close for the night and will resume in 10-20 hours.

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It's been 15 days since the 13 were trapped after venturing into the Tham Luang cave and got trapped by rising waters.

Wearing full-face masks, the youngsters swam - for the first time in their lives - through miles of mud-clogged underwater tunnels which claimed the life of an elite Thai navy diver.

Rescuers have suggested that it may take up to two days for the rescue to be completed, with each boy being brought out individually. "Everyone is a professional so we're trying to put it away and avoid it happening again", he said, adding: "Everybody is focusing on getting these boys out - keeping them alive or getting them out". But they remain "at war with water and time" as torrential monsoon downpours deluged the Tham Luang cave, in the hilly jungle of northern Thailand, and threatened to flood it even further.

Meanwhile rescuers fed a kilometres-long air pipe into the cave to restore oxygen levels in the chamber where the team was sheltering with medics and divers.

The boys urged relatives "not to worry" and asked for their favourite food once they were safely evacuated, in notes handed to divers.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk tweeted that a team from his rocket company SpaceX in Los Angeles is building a mini-sub to help with the rescue. "You don't need to be anxious about me".

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