Youth Soccer Team Found Alive After 9 Days Trapped in Thailand Cave

A group of policemen enters Tham Luang Nang Non cave where a a soccer team has gone missing

A group of policemen enters Tham Luang Nang Non cave where a a soccer team has gone missing Credit Getty

The 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a Thai cave will be given four months' supply of food and diving lessons, the military said, indicating the arduous path that still remains before their rescue.

When the group will be able to leave the cave isn't known due to flooding and other factors that could make their extraction unsafe.

The Thai Navy SEALs, who have been leading the large-scale search and rescue operation, posted a heartwarming video on its FB page, showing the moment the British divers first saw the frail-looking boys, crammed on a narrow ledge in complete darkness.

A family member smiles after hearing the news that the missing 12 boys and their soccer coach have been found.

"Thai Navy SEALs have found all 13 with signs of life", Narongsak Osottanakorn, the governor of the Chiang Rai province, told reporters. But he added that they were not out of danger yet. "But the operation isn't over", he said.

The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach entered the Tham Luang cave on June 23, when heavy rains flooded key passages of the cave and blocked the way out.

Rescuers install a water pump inside the mouth of Tham Luang Nang Non cave in an effort to rescue the stranded soccer players.

Crowds at the teeming rescue site cheer the good news and a nation breathes a sigh of relief. I have been waiting for my son for so many days.

The mother of one of the boys, Aikarn Wiboonrunreung, said: "Today is the best day".

The 13 were found on Monday, more than a week after they went missing, bringing hope in a desperate search that has attracted worldwide help and captivated the nation.

A Thai provincial governor says the 13 people who had been missing for more than a week have all had an "informal" medical evaluation inside the cave and most are in stable condition and none are in critical condition. Australia, the United States, China, Myanmar and Laos and other countries also have sent specialists to the cave.

"How many of you?" the rescuer asks.

A break in the bad weather allows divers to reach further inside the cave but they are still several kilometres away from where the boys are believed to be.

He described taking non-divers through a cave as "one of the most unsafe situations possible, even if the dives are relatively easy".

Thailand's prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has thanked the worldwide experts who assisted in the search. "The Royal Thai Government and the Thai people are grateful for this support and co-operation, and we all wish the team a safe and speedy recovery".

The Thai army said Tuesday that the twelve boys and their soccer coach found alive after nine days trapped in a cave will be taught to dive, as experts warned it could take months for the floodwaters to recede. They are clad in the uniforms they apparently were wearing on the morning they disappeared in the cave.

"These are challenging conditions and there's a lot of consideration for safety as well as, the environment outside is contributing to the environment inside", said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jessica Tait, part of a 30-strong U.S. military team assisting in the search operation, referring to the rain that has been flooding the cave. The tunnels open into wider chambers, and it's in one of those chambers that the boys were found. A rescuer answered, "Monday".

"If that's what the divers have faced and they have been trying to reach them for 10 days, it's going to be very, very hard to get those boys out, particularly of course because they are so weak".

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