Boys Have Been Rescued From Thailand Cave

Rescue operation begins for 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Thailand

However, there has been no official word on this so far.

Four of the 12 schoolboys trapped inside a cave in Thailand had their first breath of fresh air in two weeks after they were rescued in a dramatic operation.

He said 13 foreign divers and five Thai navy SEALs were taking part in the key leg of the rescue: taking the boys from where they have been sheltering and through dark, tight and twisting passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents.

The rescue mission began on Sunday morning, almost a week since the 12 boys, aged 11-16, and their coach had been discovered on an embankment 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) inside the winding tunnels.

As the rescue mission was temporarily suspended while teams restocked on supplies, crews made preparations to free the remaining eight boys and their 25-year-old coach.

The death Friday of a former Thai navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, underscored the risks.

Thai navy SEALs say four soccer team members have been taken out of the cave.

Divers have been guiding the boys through darkness and submerged passageways towards the mouth of the Tham Luang cave system.

Authorities in Chiang Rai began the risky mission to rescue the 12 boys - aged 11 to 16 - and their 25-year-old coach earlier on Sunday.

The group became trapped in a cramped chamber deep inside Tham Luang in a mountainous area of northern Thailand on 23 June, when they went in after football practice and got caught behind rising waters after a torrential downpour.

He also kept the boys on a strict training schedule, according to physical education teachers at the school field where they practised.

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The entire nation is glued to the media coverage of the rescue mission, and Thai authorities have insisted they will not compromise on the safety of the trapped group.

"It has been raining incredibly heavy, we've had these huge monsoonal rains that have hit overnight", Channel Nine's Alice Monfries said this morning.

Diving teams and medical personnel entered the cave at 10:00 local time (03:00 GMT), rescue mission chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters on Sunday.

Cave rescue experts consider an underwater escape to be a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving.

He said rescuers will continue the mission until the last one is out.

Each of the rescued boys had two divers with them at all times during the operation.

"There is no other day that we are more ready than today", he said.

American technology entrepreneur Elon Musk even deployed engineers from his private space exploration firm SpaceX and Boring Company to help. "Very courageous and talented people!"

The journey is set to be hard for both the boys, who can not dive or swim, as well as the experienced divers due to low visibility and strong currents. "I promise to take the very best care of the kids", he wrote.

President Donald Trump on Sunday took partial credit for the rescue of several of the dozen young Thai soccer players who managed to get trapped in a flooded cave. "You don't need to be anxious about me".

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