The 12 boys - members of a Thai youth soccer team and aged between 11 and 16 - and their coach were trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system June 23 following heavy rains; however, they were found alive a week later by divers.
An Australian doctor is at the center of the ongoing attempt to rescue the young soccer players and their coach trapped in the Tham Luang cave in Thailand's northern Chiang Rai Province.
The four boys, who are thought to have been in the weakest condition of the 12-member football team that went missing with their coach more than two weeks ago, were sent straight to hospital after they emerged from the cave with rescue divers on Sunday night. "They are now at the field hospital near the cave", Tossathep Boonthong, chief of the health department in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, told Reuters.
But with oxygen levels inside dropping to unsafe lows and the prospect of heavy rains flooding the area completely, authorities decided they had to move quickly and take the group out through the water-filled tunnels.
Four boys were rescued on Sunday and they were judged as healthy as they recovered in an area hospital.
After his visit, he went to Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital to visit the rescued boys.
The rescue operation started around 11 a.m. local time (midnight ET) and will take several hours.
The outlet reported that eight boys remain inside the cave. All four of those rescued yesterday were safe, he said.
But the death of a former Thai Navy SEAL diver who ran out of oxygen in the cave on Friday underscored the danger of the journey.
Seven more boys and the coach are still trapped.
Officials lavished praise on the Thai and worldwide divers who, in pairs of two, executed the risky rescue mission, guiding the boys, who could barely swim and had no diving experience, through a treacherous 2½-mile-long escape route that twisted and turned through the cavern.
The submarine is small and light enough to be carried by two divers, and can navigate through the narrow submerged areas in the cave, which is said to be the biggest challenge in rescuing the children trapped in the cave. Jesada said they were uncertain what type of infections the boys could face "because we have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave".
All ten of the boys trapped in a flooded Thai cave have been rescued. They and were in good condition in hospital, officials said.
"The operation today (Sunday) was more successful than we earlier expected", he said.
Narongsak said 13 foreign divers and five Thai navy SEALs took part in the key leg of the rescue: taking the boys from where they have been sheltering and through dark, tight and twisting passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents.
"I'm hoping for good news". With the assistance of divers, they swam out with oxygen tanks, along a 2-mile long rope guiding them out. I've told Yod to get ready to take me out for fried chicken.
"No hugging" or "touching" would be allowed between the boys and their relatives, however, until all medical tests are completed, the official said.