Thai Cave Rescue Operation Suspended After 4 More Boys Freed


On Monday, family members told CNN officials hadn't revealed which children had been rescued and who was still inside the cave Families had vowed to wait at the cave entrance until all of the boys, and their coach, were taken out.

It could be at least seven days before they can be released from hospital, Jesada said.

Rescue leader Narongsak Osatanakorn told a press conference on Tuesday that the mission began at 10.08 a.m. local time and that everyone in the cave is expected to be rescued today. Tracy also noted that the glimpse we've seen of the trapped boys showed they appeared to be in good spirits.

Four were rescued Sunday and another four were rescued on Monday.

The challenges 12 boys and their soccer coach are facing as they make their way out of a flooded cave in Thailand are more mental than physical, Canadian cave divers and rescuers said Monday. "And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain".

A Thai well wisher puts a poster to pray for boys and their soccer coach who have been trapped since June 23, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand Monday.

However, unlike Sunday and Monday when only four were brought out each day due to logistical constraints, rescuers would try to extract all of the remaining five in one operation, Narongsak said.

The plight of the boys and their coach has drawn global attention, with divers, engineers and medics among others flying in from around the world to assist.

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On Friday, the death of a former Thai navy SEAL underscored the risks.

That left two boys and their 25-year-old coach still inside the cave but authorities were confident of getting them all out by Tuesday evening via a claustrophobic network of tunnels that in some places were completely filled with water.

Officials lavished praise on the Thai and global divers who executed the risky rescue mission, guiding boys who can barely swim and have no diving experience through a treacherous 4-kilometer-long (2 1/2-mile) escape route that twisted and turned and rose and fell inside the mountain cave complex.

The boys are being monitored in the hospital for illnesses and other health issues from being stuck in the cave for two weeks. "From what I've seen in the clip, they did look skinny", he said.

Crowds at the teeming rescue site cheer the good news, but attention soon turns to the hard task of getting the boys out safely.

The search and rescue operation has riveted people in Thailand and internationally, with journalists from across the globe traveling to this town along the border with Myanmar to report on the ordeal. More worrying, however, oxygen levels in the cave were falling.

"He was a very capable SEAL and a triathlete who liked adventure sports", the Thai navy SEALs wrote in a Facebook post. But rescue officials were also anxious about dwindling oxygen levels in the cave.

In that mission, two divers accompanied each boy, guided by a rope.