All 13 rescued from flooded Thai cave

Royal Thai Navy  AFP  Getty Images

Royal Thai Navy AFP Getty Images

The perilous plight of 12 Thai youth soccer players and their coach trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks concluded with smiles on Tuesday when divers pulled the last of five remaining team members from the darkness.

The 12 boys and coach rescued over the three previous days "took care of themselves well in the cave", Thongchai Lertwilairatanapong, a public health inspector, said at a news conference at the hospital in Chiang Rai city where the group is recovering.

"Today (Tuesday) we hope to be faster", Narongsak added, of the complex and risky operation that involves diving through narrow, flooded chambers.

Last Friday, an ex-Navy SEAL died while placing oxygen tanks along the 4.7-kilometer (2.9-mile) evacuation route.

They were trapped in the Tham Luan Nang Non cave that became flooded by monsoon rains while they were exploring it after a soccer practice on June 23.

They were found by a pair of British divers 10 days later, huddled on a small, dry shelf just above the water, smiling with relief but visibly skinny.

Thailand's health ministry permanent secretary Jesada Chokdamrongsuk told reporters that the first eight boys rescued from the cave complex are generally in good health and had asked for chocolate bread for breakfast.

Jesada said the group had been given x-rays and blood tests, adding that two presented suspected symptoms of pneumonia but were given antibiotics and were "in a normal state".

They are still being quarantined from their parents because of the risk of infection and will probably be kept in hospital for a week to undergo tests, officials said.

The emergence of the second batch of four on Monday evening was greeted with a simple "Hooyah" by the Thai SEAL team on their Facebook page, an exclamation that lit up Thai social media.

About 0.6 miles of the journey on Sunday was believed to be underwater, requiring the boys to wear full face masks.

Rescue officials were hopeful that the final four boys and their coach would be rescued Tuesday.

The Navy SEALs announced the successful rescue result on Tuesday, completing an astonishing against-the-odds rescue mission that has captivated the world.

The team was trapped in a cave system after heavy rains forced them deeper into the caves in search of higher ground. "Mini-sub is ready if needed".

Musk said on Twitter after the rescue: "Great news that they made it out safely".

Miraculously, it looks like the Wild Boars team, with their current medical conditions unknown, may be able to make their invitation to the FIFA World Cup in Moscow on Sunday. He said he left the equipment there in case rescuers could use it in the future.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the cave to inspect the operation, with navy rescuers giving him a rousing cheer.

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