Thai cave rescue: Operation resumes for remaining 9 who are trapped

Four boys have been rescued

A video showed one of them was wearing an England soccer shirt.

Divers have restarted the rescue effort to bring the final eight boys and their soccer coach from a cave in Thailand one day after the first four were safely evacuated. By the time he posted the test drive videos, four boys had already been rescued and the operation was suspended for the night.

An Australian doctor who is part of the global team of rescuers checked the health of the boys Saturday to decide who should be brought to the surface first.

The boys, members of the Wild Boars soccer team, were invited to the World Cup Final in Moscow if they make it out in time and can physically handle the trip.

Mild weather and falling water levels over the past few days created optimal conditions for an underwater evacuation, but that won't last if it rains again, Narongsak said.

The first boy made it out at 5.31pm (11.31am United Kingdom time), and at 7.47pm (1.47pm) the Thai navy SEALS announced: 'Fourth Wild Boar out of the cave!' The youngsters were assessed by medics at the cave entrance before being taken to hospital. "We could start it five hours faster than we expected".

Narongsak said Sunday that the decision to try and rescue the boys and their coach on was made because conditions inside the cave were the best they could hope for and that water levels were now so low after days of good weather and constant draining that long stretches of the passage were now walk-able.

It was not clear Monday morning whether divers had reentered the huge Tham Luang cave complex where the remaining nine people have been trapped for more than two weeks.

He added that the healthiest boys were taken out first.

Thailand's Meteorological Department said there was a 60 percent chance of rain Monday with thunderstorms forecast throughout the week. "Water is draining ok [from the cave]" and that operations to divert streams and pump ourt water from the cave were still under way.

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It required the team to set up a series of survival pods at intervals to allow divers to decompress, rest and eat in the near-freezing waters along the length of an underwater river - an experience that could prove invaluable in the current rescue mission. British divers were first to locate the boys on Monday, July 2. The Thai official in Sunday night's news conference said rescue workers need "about 10 hours" to prepare for next operation.

He had also suggested the second rescue attempt would involve the same crack team of five Thai navy SEALs, along with 13 worldwide "all-star" divers.

Reuters, citing an unnamed source at a nearby hospital, reported that the boys' conditions were "not bad" but will be monitored.

The search and rescue operation has involved dozens of worldwide experts and rescuers, including a USA military team.

In a boost to the rescue effort, heavy rains mostly held off on Monday.

Eight boys and the coach remained inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave as authorities paused the worldwide effort to replenish air tanks along the treacherous exit route.

Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda said they are generally "strong and safe" and under close medical supervision.

Rains lashed the region for several hours overnight, but tapered off as the day began, leaving cloudy skies. He frantically dialed Ekapol and a number of the boys in quick succession but reached only Songpol Kanthawong, a 13-year old member of the team whose mother picked him up after training.

Rescue teams had installed a static rope along the dive path, giving the boys a guide, and experienced divers were reportedly positioned at various points along the way for assistance.

The team included Australian intensive care medic Dr Richard Harris, who was asked to join the mission by Mr Stanton, 56, a retired firefighter from Coventry, and Mr Volanthen, an IT consultant in Bristol. It's unlikely the nine in the cave are aware their teammates were rescued successfully, due to a lack of communication tools between them and the entrance, according to Ten News reporter Daniel Sutton.

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