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Rescuers begin 'challenging' final push to free last 5 from Thai cave

12 July 2018

And the operation to rescue the remaining children, plus their coach, was completed on Tuesday, the Thai Navy Seals confirmed.

Rescue teams plan third day of mission to free remaining members of Wild Boars soccer team; Jeff Paul reports from Thailand.

"At this moment (there are) no worrisome conditions, everyone is safe", Jesada Chokdamrongsuk, Thailand's health ministry permanent secretary, and told reporters.

Two of the boys had suspected lung infections but the four boys from the first group rescued were all walking around in hospital.

Jesada Chokdumrongsuk said that the boys are "healthy and smiling", he added: "the kids are footballers so they have high immune systems".

The boys had good appetites but were mainly being given bland, easily digestible foods.

Rescue operation chief Narongsak Osotthanakorn, former governor of Chiang Rai, made the announcement at the Pong Pha tambon administration organisation near the cave on Tuesday morning. Photograph: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuter.

Officials said the boys freed Sunday were hungry but in good health, and had asked for holy basil stir-fried rice, a popular Thai dish.

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By Monday night, elite divers had managed to bring out eight members of the football team which included 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach.

The chances of monsoon rains raising water in the cave again, endangering their dry refuge and making the escape route too risky, were never far from the minds of everyone involved.

Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn says the rescue mission began at 10.08am and involves 19 divers.

A crack team of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS guided four boys on Sunday and a further four on Monday through narrow, submerged channels from the muddy bank deep inside the Tham Luang cave where they had been stranded for more than two weeks.

The eight rescued boys were recuperating in a hospital from their ordeal huddled together on a tiny patch of higher ground where they had sought refuge after a rainstorm flooded the massive Tham Luan Nang Non cave complex as they were exploring it after soccer practice on June 23. ABC News identified the Wild Boar soccer team players Mongkol Boonbiam, Songpong Jaiwong, Ponchai Kumluang, Pipat Pothi, Duangpetch Promthep, Adul Samon, Panumat Sangdee, Peerapat Sompiangjai, Prajak Sutham, Nuttawut Takamsong, Chanin Wiboonrungrueng and Eakkarat Wongsukchan.

On Sunday, divers held the first four boys close to bring them out, and each had to wear an oxygen mask to enable normal breathing, authorities said. He said rescuers told the parents that the "strongest children" would be brought out first.

Musk shared some of his thoughts via his Twitter account.

But he added rescuers may need more than 20 hours, to replan and replenish oxygen supplies, to be ready to mount the next mission.

Rescuers begin 'challenging' final push to free last 5 from Thai cave