Rescued boys generally healthy and smiling - Thai official

Rescued boys generally healthy and smiling - Thai official

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

The dangers of the rescue were brought into sharp relief last Friday by the death of a retired Thai Navy Seal as he ran out of air in the flooded cave complex as extraction plans were being laid.

The rescue process started at 10am local time on Sunday and involved 13 worldwide divers and five Thai navy seals, who were referred to as "an all-star team" by NarongsakOsatanakorn, who is the Governor of Chiang Rai province and head of the joint command centre coordinating the rescue.

The ninth boy was carried from the cave on a stretcher shortly AFTER 11:00 SAST, Reuters and CNN reported.

Two more boys are rescued from the cave.

Four boys and their football coach are waiting to make the long and arduous journey out of the cave complex.

The parents of the first four boys to be rescued were allowed to pay bedside visits to their quarantined children on the condition they wear hazmat suits and keep a distance of two meters.

It hasn't even been 24 hours since rescuers pulled the last boy of the trapped Wild Boars junior soccer team from Thailand's Tham Luang Cave - but there's already talk of immortalizing their incredible survival and rescue story on the silver screen.

He confirmed that a medic and all navy SEAL divers involved in the rescue mission had also left the cave safely.

Eight of the boys were brought out on stretchers over the first two days - four each on Sunday and Monday.

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He said, "the kids are footballers so they have high immune systems".

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

"We have been informed by the Football Association of Thailand that due to medical reasons, the boys will not be in a position to travel to Moscow for the World Cup final". Heavy rain has struck the region intermittently over the last three days and further downpours could set back draining efforts at the cave.

After divers brought out four of the boys Monday evening, authorities indicated the rescue operation would continue for a third day. They talk normally. No fever.

Tuesday's rescue mission will be a race against time and bad weather.

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.

"Just returned from Cave 3", tweeted the CEO.

He posted photos of the cave interior and a video showing people working their way through chest-high water.

With oxygen levels in their chamber falling to unsafe levels and monsoon rains threatening to flood the cave up above the ledge where the boys were sheltering, rescuers decided on the least-worst option of having divers escort them out through the tunnels.

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