Rescuers begin ‘challenging’ final push to free last five from Thai cave

Thursday, 12 Jul, 2018

Tuesday, he tweeted from Thailand that he had been in the caves and that a mini-sub made from rocket parts and named "Wild Boar" after the boys' soccer team, was ready if needed and would be left in Thailand in case it could be of future use.

The "Wild Boars" soccer team and their coach got trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the vast cave complex after soccer practice, when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels.

The eight boys that have been rescued so far are weak but in good health, Kimberlee says.

The parents of the first four boys to be rescued were allowed to pay bedside visits to their quarantined children on the condition they wear hazmat suits and keep a distance of two meters.

According to a document released by the Thai authorities, the plan was that two divers would accompany each of the boys, who were being brought out in groups.

In that mission, two divers accompanied each boy, guided by a rope.

But they were prodded into the unsafe task of "diving out" the team through submerged chambers and claustrophobic passages as oxygen levels in the cave plummeted and rain menaced.

The remaining five members of the Thai soccer team will be rescued today, officials have confirmed.

"The prime minister said that this kind of event should never happen again on Thai soil", Narongsak said. The water level has reached the lowest it has been in ten days.

"I believe we have a special power: love", he said.

"His unique skillset as a specialist doctor and his extensive experience as a cave diver were quintessential to the success of this operation", Major Alex Rubin, of the Australian Defence Force, told reporters in Chiang Rai.

The first group of four evacuated on Sunday are aged between 14 and 16 and the second group rescued on Monday are aged between 12 and 14.

"I've told them once this has died down let's really sit down and have a more in-depth interview on what's really happening", he said.

But rescue officials were also anxious about dwindling oxygen levels in the cave.

All 12 boys and their football coach have been rescued from a Thai cave after an 18-day ordeal, the Thai Navy Seals said in a Facebook post.

As of 2:40 p.m. local time, the rescue has been underway for over 4 hours and nobody has been seen yet leaving the cave, although live video from the site showed increased activity and military presence in preparation for the last leg of the rescue.

All the rescued boys and their coach were taken to a hospital in the nearby city of Chiang Rai.

With oxygen levels in their chamber falling to unsafe levels and monsoon rains threatening to flood the cave up above the ledge where the boys were sheltering, rescuers decided on the least-worst option of having divers escort them out through the tunnels.