Thai cave rescue sees four more boys freed

Rescue Operation To Save The Thai Football Team Is Underway

The boys are said to be generally in good health but doctors are still evaluating whether they could have picked up any unsafe infections, such as the potentially lethal leptospirosis, while inside the damp cave for two weeks. "This is a catabolic state for these kids and this coach, meaning they are breaking down muscle because their physiologic state of stress is so high", she said. The four boys survived the treacherous journey through the Tham Luang caves, all emerging to walk unscathed into the hands of waiting medics.

After Monday's rescue effort, four boys and their coach were still inside the labyrinth cave. He is still believed to be one of the nine inside the cave.

The only way to bring everyone out of the cave is by navigating dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water, strong currents and oxygen-depleted air.

Thai public television has aired live video of a medivac helicopter landing close to a hospital in the city of Chiang Rai, near the site of the cave where a youth soccer team has been trapped for more than two weeks.

Though it rained again Sunday, it did not affect the water levels in the cave, said Narongsak Osatanakorn, the leader of the command center in charge of the rescue operation.

Eight of the 12 boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach remained stranded as of Monday morning.

Extracting group could take three to four days.

"We're ready for the operation today", said Narongsak, who said the weather and the water levels in the cave are good.

The risky bid to rescue the boys - aged between 11 and 16 - got going again hours earlier on Monday after a break to replenish oxygen supplies and make other preparations deep inside the cave complex.

James Massola, on the ground in Chiang Rai province, covered the press conference after the rescue was wrapped up for the night, and reported that rescue mission chief Narongsak Osotanakorn said the team was "getting used to the operation".

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The boys have been trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave since June 23 when they and their coach entered and were then cut off by flash flooding.

Four more boys from the "Wild Boar" soccer team were rescued by a team of 18 divers, with the first boy emerging from the cave about 4.30pm local time (7.30) pm AEST). After the location of the young soccer team and their coach was discovered earlier this month, Musk shared ideas for the rescue mission on Twitter, later revealing that his engineers would assist with the rescue.

He said that expert divers who had taken part in Sunday's operation needed to rest at least 20 hours, which would have delayed the start of the second phase to between 8pm and 10pm on Monday.

Police officers block a road leading to the Tham Luang cave complex, where members of a soccer team trapped are in a flooded cave, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 9, 2018.

A Thai navy official confirmed to Reuters that a boy was freed from the cave on Monday afternoon local time.

The eight boys rescued from a jungle cave in Thailand where they were trapped for more than two weeks are still out of reach from their relieved parents.

According to a document released by the Thai authorities, two divers will accompany each of the teenagers. On Sunday, four boys were safely evacuated from the cave.

Rescuers have been navigating a risky and complicated plan to get the children out under the threat of heavy rain and rising water underground. Monsoon flooding blocked off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

That sense of accomplishment was also reflected in the message posted Monday night on the Thai Navy SEALS's Facebook page announcing the latest rescues.

"Hopefully useful", he wrote in one tweet, noting that the device would arrive in 17 hours. "Very courageous and talented people!"

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