Eight boys rescued from cave in northern Thailand

The boys and their coach have been trapped inside the Tham Luang cave for over two weeks because of monsoon flooding.

Narongsak said Monday's rescues involving 18 divers and a support team of 100 had taken nine hours, two fewer than the rescues on Sunday.

"All eight are in good health, no fever. everyone is in a good mental state", Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the public health ministry, told reporters on Tuesday at Chiang Rai hospital in the clearest update on their condition so far. A statement from the hospital said, "The next step is to make sure those kids and their families are safe because living in a cave has a different environment which might contains animals that could transmit any disease".

The rescue operation began Sunday and has been progressing rapidly.

On Monday afternoon, Osatanakorn said the same group of divers involved in Sunday's rescue operation had entered the cave at 11 a.m. local time to rescue the group still stuck inside.

The members of the "Wild Boars" team, aged between 12 and 16, were guided to safety through the twisting, submerged passages of the cave complex by a team of worldwide expert divers flanked by Thai Navy Seals over two days in a meticulously planned operation.

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Meanwhile, a letter of apology from the coach of the football team was delivered to the boys' parents via the cave divers.

A stretcher which is believed to be carrying a boy rescued from the Tham Luang cave is moved from an ambulance in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 9, 2018.

All four were airlifted to a hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai. Authorities have said the mission could take up to four days to complete and heavy rain is forecast in the coming days.

Two divers will accompany each of the boys, all of whom have been learning to dive only since July 2, when the first searchers found them.

Monday's mission involved 18 divers from Thailand and overseas. "Some of them had gone to rest, some others are preparing for the next operation". They were accompanied by two professional divers each throughout.

The death Friday of a former Thai navy SEAL underscored the risks. The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place air canisters along the passage to where the boys are, necessary for divers to safely travel the five- to six-hour route. Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's navy SEAL unit are taking part in the rescue operation. Add Thailand Cave Rescue as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Thailand Cave Rescue news, video, and analysis from ABC News. More worrying, however, oxygen levels in the cave were falling.

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