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8 rescued from Thai cave, but 5 remain trapped

10 July 2018

The general leading the huge worldwide effort to rescue the young footballers and their coach thanked the god of rain for his forbearance, as the boys were guided out of the Tham Luang caves in full-face masks - easier than traditional respirators for novice divers to use - during an intense nine-hour operation.

The first thing the Thai boys rescued from a cave said was that they missed their homes and were happy to be out of the cave, officials at the the Chiang Rai hospital said on Sunday.

Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the rescue operation, said a team of divers went back into the cave Monday morning, local time.

Rescue organisers say they need 20 hours to replan and replenish oxygen supplies, with the next rescue mission expected to come some time on Tuesday afternoon, weather permitting.

Families have not been told which boys are free, so all parents have agreed to remain at the cave until the entire team is rescued. It is not immediately clear how the rains had affected levels inside the cave. "Now they are fine", he said.

The first group of four boys to be rescued were led out of the cave by an worldwide team of rescue divers on Sunday.

"We've set a plan for four but if we want to rescue five, those responsible will have to adjust the plan".

The members of the "Wild Boars" team, aged between 12 and 16, were guided to safety through the twisting, submerged passages of the cave complex by a team of worldwide expert divers flanked by Thai Navy Seals over two days in a meticulously planned operation.

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Thai soldiers arrive at the Tham Luang cave area as the operations continue for those still trapped inside the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 9, 2018.

Rescuers are racing to save four young footballers and their coach who remain trapped in a flooded Thai cave on Tuesday, as heavy rains threatened an already perilous escape mission that has seen eight of the boys evacuated.

They are then taken to hospital in Chiang Rai.

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

The plight of the boys and their coach has riveted Thailand and much of the world - from the heart-sinking news they were missing to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys when they were found 10 days later by a pair of British divers.

Monday's mission involved 18 divers from Thailand and overseas.

Headcam footage posted by The Guardian shows the divers' journey through the dark, wet passages, where a diver died early Friday while delivering oxygen tanks to the cave.

Monday's rescue effort took about nine hours, two fewer than the day before, in a sign of growing confidence and expertise.

8 rescued from Thai cave, but 5 remain trapped