Thai cave rescue: 8 boys out, 4 plus coach still inside

Thai cave rescue: 8 boys out, 4 plus coach still inside

The daring rescue mission began early Sunday morning more than 2 weeks after the team became trapped in the cave. Chiang Rai's deputy governor said authorities prefer the diving option.

"Today we managed to rescue and send back four children to Chiang Rai Prachanukrua Hospital safely", rescue operation head Narongsak Osottanakorn, told a news conference.

It was not clear who was inside the ambulance or the helicopter.

A third day of rescue operations got underway Tuesday to recover the remaining boys and their soccer coach trapped inside a cave in northern Thailand.

Authorities in northern Chiang Rai province began the unsafe mission to bring out the 12 boys and their coach earlier on Sunday.

Rescuers and the families of the 12 boys and their football coach being saved from a Thai cave complex are "cautiously optimistic".

To make matters worse, rescuers are facing a "war with water and time" as unsafe monsoon storms and torrential rainfall could derail the mission.

The operation, which started on Sunday morning, will take two to three days to complete, as each round trip from the rescue camp in the cave to the site where the boys and their coach are located takes 11 hours.

The world has been watching, and an worldwide team of divers and support crews were assembled to aid the rescue.

A little before 5pm local time (10am GMT) a fifth boy was reported rescued after a six-hour operation.

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Inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex, hazards lurk behind every corner and getting everyone out could take another four days, authorities said. A former Thai navy SEAL passed out while making the dive Friday and died.

As the monsoon rains begin, water is being pumped out of the caves and a plan is being developed to bring them to safety.

Musk says the sub would be light enough to be carried by two divers and small enough to get through narrow cave gaps.

Speaking to reporters at a briefing near the cave on Sunday night, Chiang Rai provincial acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said the healthiest boys were taken out first, with the first two emerging at 5:40 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. local time, or 6:40 a.m. ET.

After a short deluge of rain on Saturday night and with more bad weather forecast, Narongsak on Sunday said authorities had to act immediately.

The boys, who range in age from 11 to 15, as well as the coach, have practiced wearing diving masks and Thai Navy SEALS are being told to prepare for a sudden evacuation.

".I can't give you an exact number but it should be more than 10 hours but not exceeding 20 hours".

"The boys' strength, the plan - today we are ready like before".

Narongsak said Saturday that experts told him new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to just 10 square meters (108 square feet).

One particularly touching note from another boy said: "I'm doing fine, but the air is a little cold, but don't worry".

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