GALLERY: All 13 rescued from flooded Thai cave: navy SEAL unit

Royal Thai Navy  AFP  Getty Images

"All 12 "Wild Boars" and coach have been extracted from the cave", the SEALs said in a Facebook post.

The "Wild Boars" team are trapped since June 23 when they set out to explore the cave after soccer practice and rains flooded the tunnels.

American engineer arrived in Thailand, where the operation to rescue the children from the cave.

"The heroes this time are people all over the world", he added, referring to the multinational team that assisted in the operation.

Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit make up the main team guiding the boys to safety.

Officials lavished praise on the Thai and worldwide divers who, in pairs of two, executed the unsafe rescue mission, guiding the boys, who could barely swim and had no diving experience, through a treacherous 4-kilometer-long (2 1/2-mile) escape route that twisted and turned through the cavern.

A Reuters witness saw three people being carried out of the Tham Luang cave on stretchers separately on Tuesday, the third day of the rescue operation. "Most of the boys lost an average of 2kg". Tuesday's operation began just after 10am.

Initially, rescuers said the boys (who are aged between 11 and 17) might have to wait until the end of the rainy season before they could be safely brought out from the cave, which would have involved waiting several months. Medical experts say they are in high spirits and generally healthy.

All 12 of the boys trapped in a cave in northern Thailand have now been rescued, along with their 25-year-old coach, according to reports in the Mirror.

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




At least one publisher told the paper that she'd be interested in reading a manuscript that includes details about the boys' coach, a former monk who reportedly taught the children meditation in the cave and gave up his limited supply of food and water so they could have more.

Two of the first group had a lung infection as well, and Thongchai said they would need medicine for seven days.

The eight boys brought out on Sunday and Monday are in good health overall and some asked for chocolate bread for breakfast, officials said.

"The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems", Jesada said.

Another four were rescued on Monday and the last four boys and the coach were brought out on Tuesday.

Family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass isolation barrier, and Jesada said doctors may let the boys walk around their beds on Tuesday.

Even before the final rescues, tributes began for the courage of the boys and their ability to survive the ordeal. Some players and an assistant coach were exploring the caves when heavy rains flooded parts of the vast cave, trapping them more than two miles from the entrance. They were also able to talk on the phone.

The soccer world has reached out in other ways to rescued boys.

Narongsak said Monday's rescues involving 18 divers and a support team of 100 had taken nine hours, two fewer than the rescues on Sunday.

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