Thailand holds its breath as workers rescue boys from a cave

Former navy diver dies during Thailand cave rescue effort

Early Sunday morning, Thai cave divers launched a mission to extract the children and their soccer coach from the Tham Luang cave, who have been trapped underground for more than two weeks.

Narongsak Osottanakorn, the governor of the country's Chiang Rai Province and the leader of the rescue mission, said the dive team is working with doctors to determine the order of exit, per Forgan.

The first two schoolboys have emerged from a flooded Thai cave after divers launched a daring and risky mission to rescue the children and their soccer coach, who have been trapped underground for more than two weeks, a Thai official said.

Monsoon flooding had initially cut off their escape, and rescuers were unable to find them for more than a week.

Maj. Gen. Chalongchai Chaiyakam said the 13 "will continuously come out in approximately two to four days, which all may change depending on weather and water conditions", The Associated Press earlier reported. They are ready both mentally and physically'.

Officials did not clarify this morning whether the complex effort to dive the team out of the kilometres-long Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand had started.

It is unclear exactly how the boys will be moved but it appears that the journey will include some diving and walking in areas where the water level permits.

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"If we keep on waiting and the rains come in the next three or four days, our readiness will decrease", Narongsak said, according to the AP. They expect the first rescue to be completed by 9 p.m. Sunday.

"Clearly there is a huge risk of someone panicking if they are not used to the diving environment", Tony Haigh, a spokesman for the British Cave Rescue Council, which had two divers that found the boys, told the Post. Levels have fallen from 15 percent to 20 due to the presence of rescue workers in the cave, reports said.

The rescuers and boys will have to contend with navigating tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents, as well as with oxygen-depleted air.

Without going into detail about the rescue, he said that "hundreds of people have vetted" the plan to bring the boys to safety, although "there will always be margins for error".

On July 4, Thai navy SEALS released video of the boys who appeared to be in good spirits despite the harrowing conditions.

But initial euphoria over finding them alive quickly turned into deep anxiety as rescuers struggled to find a way to get the footballers out of the flooded cave complex.

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