First person removed from Thai cave on second day of rescue mission

First person removed from Thai cave on second day of rescue mission

Officials lavished praise on the Thai and global divers who, in pairs of two, executed the unsafe rescue mission, guiding the boys, who could barely swim and had no diving experience, through a treacherous 4-kilometer-long (2 1/2-mile) escape route that twisted and turned through the cavern.

Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation said: "The factors are as good as yesterday ..."

A BCRC spokesman said: "The UK divers are part of the core team, so they will be actively involved and that will include escorting each child out through the flooded passage". The four boys survived the treacherous journey through the Tham Luang caves, all emerging to walk unscathed into the hands of waiting medics.

Narongsak said that the "same multinational team" that went into the cave on Sunday to retrieve the first four boys was deployed on Monday.

The rescue involves taking the boys from where they have been sheltering and through dark, tight and twisting passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents.

For more than two weeks, people in this community have been through an emotional whirlwind that began when the soccer team didn't return from an after-practice outing to the cave on June 23. This now brings the total number of rescued boys to eight.

Extracting everyone could take up to four days, but the initial success has raised hopes that could be done.

Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda also said the boys were in good health. Sunday, expert divers rescued four of the boys. The death of a former Thai Navy SEAL diver on Friday, who ran out of oxygen, underscored the danger of the mission, which has been termed a "war against time and rains".

As of Monday morning, nine people remained trapped in the cave, including the 12-member team's coach, after four boys were rescued on Sunday, the first day of the rescue operation. "Hooyah", the Thai Navy SEALS wrote on their Facebook page Monday, referring to the boys' soccer team, the Wild Boars.

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Four boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach still remain trapped underground as an worldwide effort of volunteer divers and elite Thai Navy Seals shuttle back and forth to bring them to safety.

A massive worldwide search operation was launched and it took 10 days to locate the boys, who had taken shelter on a dry slope deep in the complex.

At least one more boy has been rescued from Thailand's Tham Luang Cave as the harrowing mission to rescue the stranded children and their soccer coach stretched into its second day. Two drivers will accompany each boy being taken out.

He added that the healthiest boys were taken out first.

It's been more than two weeks since the 12 boys and their soccer coach became trapped in the flooded Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai. Monsoon flooding blocked off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

Rescuers have been navigating a risky and complicated plan to get the children out under the threat of heavy rain and rising water underground.

Authorities temporarily stopped their efforts Monday to replenish air tanks along the cave's treacherous exit route.

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.

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