Thai Navy SEALs Successfully Rescue 12 Youth Soccer Players From Flooded Cave

What health risks will the Thai soccer players face after they're rescued from the cave

But on Tuesday night, the last four boys and their coach were brought out alive from the claustrophobic confines of the cave, in what many have called a miraculous rescue effort.

"The 12 Wild Boars and coach have emerged from the cave and they are safe", the Thai navy SEAL unit said on its official Facebook page.

Tuesday's operation began just after 10 a.m.

"I hope today we will be faster or the same speed as yesterday", Narongsak said.

At around 16:00 local time (09:00 GMT) on Tuesday, the ninth boy was evacuated, the tenth one came out of the cave at 16:33 and the eleventh kid was rescued at 17:13. The first and longest mission took 11 hours.

The boys rescued so far are in good overall health despite spending two weeks in the dank cave system, said Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the ministry of public health, at a news conference in Chiang Rai.

While their parents have been able to visit them, they have been kept separate "through the glass because doctors are concerned". They did get a treat, however: bread with chocolate spread that they had requested.

The group was exploring the Tham Luang Cave after a June 23 practice when monsoon rains flooded the cave and blocked their exit.

Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters A Royal Thai Police helicopter carrying rescued schoolboys lands at a military airport in the northern province of Chiang Rai July 8, 2018.

Medical staff say the eight boys freed from the cave on Sunday and Monday are "healthy and smiling", but two may have a lung infection.

They are all likely to stay in hospital for seven days due to their weakened immune systems. "Everyone is in high spirits and are happy to get out. We can see that everything is ok as they're eating well", he said.

Doctors, though, said they'll have to remain in the hospital for treatment for at least a week, insisting they can watch the big game on TV. Four boys and their coach remain in the cave, but it's unclear if authorities will try to extract them in a group of four or try to take the five out in a single mission.

Four ambulances and a convoy of other vehicles arrived at the cave site Tuesday morning to prepare for the third phase of the rescue.

The freed children are all now recovering in hospital and were earlier reported to be in a stable condition. Last week, Musk sent engineers from two of his companies, SpaceX and Boring Co., to assist Thai officials in the rescue effort, which comprises a large team of worldwide diving, engineering and medical experts, among other professionals.

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