First boys rescued from Thailand cave

Thai cave rescue route

GETTYThai cave rescue route The football team were trapped for two weeks

A girl shows a collage of pictures before relatives and friends begin prayers for the 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded cave, at Mesai Grace Church in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand.

As of Monday morning, nine people remained trapped in the cave, including the 12-member team's coach, after four boys were rescued on Sunday, the first day of the rescue operation.

Among those are U.S. military partners, British cave diving experts - including the two men who first located the boys a week ago - and rescue workers from Australia, China and other countries.

Australian Federal Police and Defense Force divers, along with Australian cave diver and anesthetist Richard Harris, 53, are part of the team continuing to work on extracting the remaining members of the team.

But the chances of monsoon rains sending torrents of water into the cave and making the rescue effort too risky is never far from the minds of everyone involved in the operation.

Some took time on Sunday to pay tribute to Saman Gunan, a Thai Navy SEAL who died while trying to ensure the boys had enough oxygen.

Veena Thoopkrajae, reporting for the Guardian, said that the former governor Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is heading up the rescue operation, has been referring to the boys as Moo 1, 2, 3 and 4 - after Moo Pa (Wild Boars) the name of their football team - and those names have taken off on social media.

The governor explained that a re-evaluation of the boys' situation had led the rescue authorities to conclude that they could not stay in the cave throughout the monsoon season.

The potential for rising water and the dwindling oxygen levels added to the urgency of getting the team out.

"That is mind-boggling to me what these divers would have to do to train these boys just to get them to the point that they can swim, then you add the very unique environment of diving in dark water that's cold and moving, as they make their way up and down inclines, over and on top of rocks", Pixley said.

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Responding to a question on Twitter, the entrepreneur and engineering mastermind said "divers who have made the passage", believe the pod is small enough to fit through the most narrow portions of the cave.

His parents, along with other families, have maintained a constant vigil at the site since the boys became trapped. Officials in Thailand said that after the first four boys were removed from the cavern, rescue crews began replenishing oxygen in the cave by pumping oxygen from the outside and replacing air tanks used in Sunday's rescues.

Thailand's Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda revealed the same divers who rescued the four boys will also conduct the next operation due to their knowledge of the terrain.

"It's risky to the most experienced divers to go through", one diver told Reuters.

But Narongsak said earlier that mild weather and falling water levels in recent days had created optimal conditions for an underwater evacuation.

Wednesday, June 27: A team of more than 30 American military personnel from the US Pacific Command arrive, including pararescue and survival specialists.

In later tweets, Musk said that the submarine he is working on has four handles in the front and four in the rear, along with four air tank connections. Shortly before 8 p.m., the Thai navy SEALs reported on their official Facebook page that four had been rescued. This what we have been racing against since day one. I'm happy being here inside, the navy SEALS have taken good care.

Rescuers didn't use Musk's ideas to get the first four boys out, but Musk tweeted that he's communicating with the Thai government and other experts on the submarine idea.

Asked how the authorities had decided which boys were to be taken out first, Mr Narongsak said: "Their health".

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