First two of Thai soccer team rescued from cave


Thai navy seals divers seen traversing the cramped cave system in Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province, Thailand.

The entire operation could take up to four days, but the initial success raised hopes about the rescue mission.

Rescue personnel work at the Tham Luang cave complex, as members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach have been found alive according to local media, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand on July 4, 2018.

In comments released by the government, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said the same divers who took part in Sunday's rescue will also conduct the next operation as they know the cave conditions and what to do. All four of those rescued yesterday were safe, he said.

For the boys who can't swim, this 4km back to safety will likely take much longer.

The mission was only launched on Sunday morning because floodwaters inside the cave were at their lowest level in days.

Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit are trying to bring the rest of the boys - some as young as 11 and weak swimmers - through narrow, submerged passageways that claimed the life of a former Thai navy diver on Friday. He confirmed that the boys traveled 1km underwater and the first was rescued at 5:40 p.m. local time. Those conditions won't last if the rain resumes, he said.

The mission to save all the trapped is a race against the clock with heavy rain expected this week which would again flood the tunnels with fast-flowing, rising water.

Authorities have said the monsoons could cause water to rise in the cave. The team is huddled in an enclosed area of the cave, in which oxygen levels are falling, and the incoming rain could end up shrinking the unflooded space to around 100 square feet.

Osatanakorn said efforts to remove floodwater and divert water flows have been "very successful", but seasonal monsoon rains forecast to hit the region this weekend and throughout next week.

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Flooding cut off their escape but they were found by British cave diving specialists nine days later, dishevelled and hungry, on a ledge several miles inside the cave.

The ordeal has riveted Thailand and captured the world's attention.

On Sunday, Musk posted photos and video of the "kid-size submarine" his team was testing in LA.

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that USA personnel were on the ground at the cave site assisting in the operation. "Very fearless and talented people!" "We can't visit our boys in hospital because they need to be monitored for 48 hours", Somboon told Reuters.

The boys sounded calm and reassuring in handwritten notes to their families that were made public Saturday.

Experienced cave divers have noted how hard the dive in Thang Luam Cave is.

One of the boys, identified as Tun, wrote: "Mom and Dad, please don't worry, I am fine". Just tell us a bit more about it, if you can.

"Don't be anxious", wrote another boy, Mick. "I'm so happy the children came out safely". "I can't say how many people will come out tomorrow. Although, don't forget to set up my birthday party".

So that's good, right?