Four of the 12 Thai football team boys have been rescued from the flooded cave after being trapped for more than two weeks and the Thai cave rescue operation is underway to evacuate the remaining eight boys and their football coach.

12 Thai boys of a football team – aged between 11 and 16 years – and their coach went missing on June 23; after a week of search missions, all 12 teenagers and their coach were found safe but trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand.  After entire week of Thai cave rescue ops, a team of 13 foreign divers and 5 members of Thailand’s elite navy SEAL unit successfully rescued four of the 12 Thai schoolboys were rescued on July 8. The rescuers took advantage of a break in the rain on Sunday and smoothly completed the first phase of Thai cave rescue mission.

All four boys were rescued in good health, however, they were sent to Chiang Rai Prachanukrua Hospital in the nearby city of Chiang Rai. The team of rescuers had rehearsed the plan for several days, and had managed to bring down the water level in the cave considerably by draining it. And finally brought back the first four boys – who were the weakest among all – returning them to their families safely. However, with forecasts of heavy rainfall in coming days, the Thai cave rescue will underway to extract remaining 8 boys and their coach out of the flooded cave.

Graphic showing how the boys will leave the cave

A team of 90 expert divers – 40 from Thailand and 50 from overseas are continuously working to rescue the remaining trapped boys from the the Tham Luang cave. The team is likely to adapt the same method of guiding the boys through darkness and submerged passageways – wearing full-face masks and a continuous air supply. The entire process includes a mix of walking, wading, climbing and diving along guide ropes already in place – which is a challenge even for the seasoned divers. This is a hugely high-profile mission as the entire world is watching the Thai cave rescue mission – albeit the mission is risky, it is the best option to bring the entire group back, alive.

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