International Travel

Mon, 9 Jul, 2018Danielle McCarthy

"The day we’ve been waiting for": Four boys freed from Thai cave

"The day we’ve been waiting for": Four boys freed from Thai cave

Yesterday, four members of a young Thai soccer team were brought to safety after being trapped in a flooded cave system with their coach.

The first four boys to be removed in the rescue mission had arrived at hospital, according to the head of the rescue operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn.

Today, the rescue mission will continue, as experts attempt to bring the remaining eight boys and their coach to safety.

Mr Osottanakorn told reporters that 90 divers, including 50 foreign rescue workers, were all assisting with the time-pressured operation.

"I would like to inform the public at home and those who have been giving us support all along, after 16 days, today's the day we've been waiting for, we are seeing the Wild Boars in the flesh now."

The first boy left the cave at 5.40 pm local time on Sunday.

Mr Osottanakorn said that rescue workers will need “about 10 hours” to prepare for the next rescue operation.

After the four boys were rescued, Thai Navy seals posted on their Facebook page: “Have sweet dreams everyone. Good night. Hooyah.”

Divers have navigated dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents, to rescue the stranded team.

A former Thai navy SEAL had passed out during the operation while making the dive on Friday and sadly died.

The team has been trapped underground for more than two weeks.

Cave rescue experts previously said an underwater escape should be a last resort due to the strenuous and difficult route to safety, however Mr Osottanakorn revealed that mild weather had created prime conditions for an underwater evacuation.

The optimal conditions won’t last if it rains again.

Before revealing the rescue was underway, authorities instructed the crowd of media gathered around the cave to leave.

On June 23, the soccer teams of young boys and their 25-year-old coach set out to explore the cave complex after soccer practice.

An army commander involved in the operation, said rescuing the entire team could take three to four days but is dependent on the weather, reported the ABC.