Rescue Operation To Save The Thai Football Team Is Underway

One of two ambulances leave the cave in northern Thailand hours after operation began to rescue the trapped soccer players and their coach

One of two ambulances leave the cave in northern Thailand hours after operation began to rescue the trapped soccer players and their coach

Now that the first of the boys have been taken to a nearby hospital, doctors there will begin evaluating the impact to their long-term health.

A rescue official on Sunday said that the first two schoolboys have been rescued from a flooded Thai cave after a daring mission to rescue 12 children and their soccer coach, who have been trapped underground for more than two weeks, was launched. Today is D-Day.' Fearing further flooding, he said the children, aged 11 to 16, might be stuck until January if they ignored yesterday's chance.

One of the boys to emerge was a 13-year-old Mongkol Boonpiem, local media has reported.

The rescue of the first six was a stunning victory in an operation Narongsak had earlier dubbed "Mission Impossible", and led to cautious optimism that the others would also be saved.

Thai officials said 13 foreign and five Thai divers are taking part in the rescue operation.

The operation to rescue the Thai football team trapped in a cave has begun this morning. The group was found alive in a small cave chamber on Monday after nine days, mounting an worldwide rescue effort with experts weighing in from all over the world.

They were discovered by British divers on Monday night after a nine-day round-the-clock search involving teams from all over the world.

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Initial euphoria over finding the boys alive quickly turned into deep anxiety as rescuers struggled to find a way to get them out.

The boys and the coach will dive out of the cave one at a time, each accompanied by a member of a team of worldwide and Thai divers, officials said. Narongsak said Saturday that experts told him water from new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to just 10 square meters (108 square feet). All four boys were said to be in "perfect" condition, and safely transported to a hospital. "If we don't do it today we will lose our opportunity".

Millions of gallons of water have been removed from the caves in the last week in an attempt to make it passable for the rescuers and the trapped football team.

He has experience in body retrievals, including stunt diver Agnes Milowka who died at Millicent in 2011.

That adds up to about two hours of air per tank - meaning multiple tanks must be hauled by rescuers trying to reach the boys.

The decision to move the boys using divers has not been taken lightly.

Officials had looked at many different ways to save the boys and their coach. But they remain "at war with water and time" as torrential monsoon downpours deluged the Tham Luang cave, in the hilly jungle of northern Thailand, and threatened to flood it even further.

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