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Rescuers have freed four boys trapped in Thai cave

09 July 2018

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".

Outgoing Chiang Rai province Governor Naronsak Osottanakorn said the divers entered the cave at 10am on Sunday morning (local time).

He added doctors assessed they were "very fit physically and mentally".

Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda told reporters the rescued boys were in good health in hospital but did not give details.

The device is fitted with oxygen ports and is light enough to be carried by two divers.

The extraction of those remaining is expected to take another two to four days, depending on conditions.

"There is no time limit for the operation".

Teams have used high-powered pumps to empty more than 100 million of gallons of water out of the cave. We ask to pray that this operation is a success. Officials have said storms forecast for Chiang Rai province in Thailand's far north had factored into their decision to go ahead with a complicated and unsafe plan to have the boys and their coach dive out of the cave.

The rescue began on Sunday.

The second leg of the operation was placed on hold overnight as oxygen tanks were replenished and defibrillators put in place should the rescue take a bad turn. In addition to the nearly impassable tunnels the boys have to go through, the deteriorating weather conditions make it a race against time as well.

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In a tweet Sunday morning, U.S. President Donald Trump said, "The working very closely with the Government of Thailand to help get all of the children out of the cave and to safety". Thai navy SEALs say four of the 12 soccer team members are out of the cave.

"Those unrelated to the rescue operation, please evacuate the area immediately".

Thais have been fixated on the crisis, hoping desperately for the safe return of the boys and their 25-year-old coach, since they became trapped in the Tham Luang cave complex on June 23 because of rising waters.

The only way to bring them out is by navigating dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents, as well as oxygen-depleted air. Students and teachers at Maesaiprasitsart school, attended by numerous children, have been given instructions to avoid "talk that hurts [the boys'] feelings", said teacher Thongyaud Kejorn. We have prepared the helipad.

Thirteen medical teams have been stationed outside the cave - one for each of the boys and their coach. Helicopters and several ambulances were seen departing from the cave area, though there was no official announcement of whom they were carrying.

"The operation is being supervised by the Thai authorities".

"We're ready for the operation today", said Narongsak, who said the weather and the water levels in the cave are good.

"I watch the news on my phone, my mom is watching on TV", said Chokumpompan, who graduated from the same school that six of the boys now attend, Mae Si Prasitsart School. So far the only direct contact has been through handwritten notes from the boys - and replies from their parents.

The SEALs, which have stationed divers and medics with the boys for the last week, posted a message on their Facebook page on Sunday promising to bring the group back safely. A former Thai navy SEAL died making the dive on Friday. While that's gone well, there's still a high chance of more rain in the area, and the mission plans could be affected over the course of the next several hours - and that will determine whether or not the escape pod will find use in this endeavor.

Rescuers have freed four boys trapped in Thai cave