'D-Day' is Here, Cave Rescue Leader Announces

Rescue personnel arrive as rescue operations continue for 12 boys and their coach trapped at Tham Luang cave at Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province

In this undated photo released by Royal Thai Navy on Saturday, July 7, 2018, Thai rescue teams arrange a water pumping system at the entrance to a flooded cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand.

"The water level may rise to the area where the children are sitting and make the area less than 10sq meters", Narongsak said, citing estimates from cave divers and experts.

Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit would attempt to bring the boys - some of whom are as young as 11 and not strong swimmers - through narrow, submerged passageways that claimed the life of a former Thai navy diver earlier this week.

A boy named Mick wrote: "Don't be anxious, I miss everyone".

Thai rescuers said they will not immediately attempt an underwater evacuation of 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach who have been trapped in a cave for nearly two weeks because they have not learned adequate diving skills in the short time since they were found.

In a video released by the Thai navy, several of the boys are treated for minor cuts on their feet and legs, but otherwise appear in good spirits.

Narongsak said the first boy was expected to be brought out of the cave by around 9:00 pm (1400 GMT) after navigating the planned six-hour journey. Grandpa, Uncle, Mom, Dad and siblings, I love you all. Get ready to take me out for fried chicken. "Aunty, can you please tell granny to prepare vegetable juice and pork snacks?" he wrote.

Oxygen levels in the cave in Chiang Rai have dropped during the rescue effort, which rescuers have become concerned about.

The boys urged relatives "not to worry" and asked for their favourite food once they were safely evacuated, in notes handed to divers.

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I sincerely hope that they will be able to join us at the final, which will undoubtedly be a wonderful moment of communion and celebration.

Another joked: "Teacher, don't give us lots of homework!" Are you thinking of them during this risky mission?

To the boys' coach, Ekapol "Aek" Chanthawong, 25, the mother wrote, "We want you to know that no parents are angry with you at all, so don't you worry about that".

The rescue effort has grown into an worldwide collaboration, with divers from the US military, the U.K., China and Australia helping out.

"To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine".

The Thai King has said that the sergeant will have a royal funeral and that he will take care of the family and the funeral.

"I also sincerely apologise to the kids' parents".

Over the past couple of weeks, officials had been exploring different ways to get the boys out, including drilling down into the cave or looking at other entrances to the mountainside. "The Boring Co has advanced ground penetrating radar and is pretty good at digging holes", Musk said on Twitter.

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