Accessibility links

Breaking News

All 12 Boys and Coach Rescued from Thai Cave

Rescue personnel walk in a cave at the Tham Luang cave complex during a mission to evacuate the remaining members of a soccer team trapped inside, in Chiang Rai, Thailand July 9, 2018, in this photo obtained from social media.

All 12 boys and their coach have been pulled out of a flooded Thai cave where they and they had been trapped for more than two weeks, according to the Thai Navy SEALs.

"All 12 'Wild Boars' and coach have been extracted from the cave," a post on their Facebook page said, adding that all were safe and signing off with a "hooyah."

Tuesday's rescue happened on the third consecutive day of efforts to rescue the 12 players and their coach, who have been trapped in the Tham Luang cave complex since late June, a span of more than two weeks.Four boys were rescued Sunday, and another four guided to safety on Monday.

Thai Health Secretary Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk told reporters earlier Tuesday that two of the eight rescued boys had lung infections, but that all of them were generally healthy and in good spirits, thanks to their "high immunity" derived from being footballers.

Jesada said the boys are being quarantined from family members to prevent them from getting an infection.He said they would likely be in the hospital for at least a week.

Monday's rescue attempt took nine hours, two hours shorter than Sunday's initial attempt, providing officials and rescue crews with growing confidence they can pull the remaining players and their 25-year-old coach out safely.

"8 boars in 2 days. Hooyah," the Thai Navy SEALS wrote on their Facebook page Monday, referring to the boys' football team, the Wild Boars.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrived in Chiang Rai and visited the eight rescued boys in the hospital Monday night, according to Narongsak Osatanakorn, the acting governor of Chaing Rai state.

Thirteen international divers and five Thai Navy SEALs are involved in the operation.

One volunteer, former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan, died Friday while placing spare air tanks along the escape route. He ran out of air trying to swim out of the cave.

None of the trapped boys has ever been diving before and some do not even know how to swim. Two divers are helping each one make his way through very narrow tunnels that twist and turn, and filled with dark muddy water. It takes the divers about eight hours to get into the cave, reach the boys, and bring them back out.

The anxious families say they have forgiven 25-year-old coach Ekapol Chanthawong, who led the boys on what was supposed to be an innocent adventure in cave exploring more than two weeks ago.

Monsoon rains have started falling again, causing water levels inside the cave to rise, squeezing the boys in an ever shrinking space inside the cave, and causing oxygen levels to drop.

The experts say if the boys are not rescued over the next few days, they may have to wait inside the cave for months before the rains ease up and another rescue attempt is made.