Ten rescuers put on scuba gear and headed into the Tham Luang cave network about 11 a.m. local time on Monday to extract the remaining members of the junior soccer team and their coach, Thai officials said. The photos show the team's coach, 25-year-old Eakkapon Chanwong, as well as players Mongkol Boonbiam, Songpong Jaiwong, Ponchai Kumluang, Pipat Pothi, Duangpetch Promthep, Adul Samon, Panumat Sangdee, Peerapat Sompiangjai, Prajak Sutham, Nuttawut Takamsong, Chanin Wiboonrungrueng and Eakkarat Wongsukchan.
Look inside the Tham Luang Cave area in northern Chiang Rai province of Thailand to see the hard task of saving the trapped 12 boys and their football coach. Their families were being kept at a distance because of fears of infection and the emaciated-looking boys were eating a rice-based porridge because they were still too weak to take regular food, authorities said.
Around 20 Australians have been involved in rescue efforts to free 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thai cave.
Ambulances transport boys rescued from Tham Luang Nang Non cave to hospital on July 8, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
"If we wait and the rain comes in the next few days we will be exhausted again from pumping and our readiness would drop".
The extraction of the 4 on Monday followed a similar pattern to the previous day, with the youngsters emerging in quick succession just before nightfall after navigating a treacherous escape route of more than 4 kilometers (2.5 miles).
"We have caves here in the Midwest that are equally risky, I would have to say, to the ones that are found in Thailand". "But I expect the operation to finish within the next couple of days".
The 31cm-wide custom submarine would make the boys passive participants in the rescue and could potentially shorten the journey, which took divers a total of nine hours in the second successful rescue operation on Monday.
After rescuing the four boys, the officials paused the operation for at least 10 hours to fill the oxygen tanks that were used.
Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the rescued boys and some of the parents said they had not even been told who had been rescued.
Their friends were full of optimism - and worry.
One of the boys, identified as Tun, wrote: "Mom and Dad, please don't worry, I am fine".
"Don't be anxious, I miss everyone". Authorities say they want to get them out now, given the looming threat of more rain and floods. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who paid a visit to the site on Monday evening, also turned up at the hospital to meet the rescued boys. A major concern of the rescuers is that oxygen levels in their safe space could fall dangerously low.
"If something changes, we'll stop", he said.
An official briefed on the rescue operation said Monday the rescued kids haven't yet been served the chicken dish but are starting instead with lighter blander food such as diluted porridge. It ended with their fighting cheer, adopted from the U.S. Navy: "Hooyah!"
Thai authorities said the four boys rescued from the cave are hungry but in good health. He said that process can take several hours.
Six Australians were among the 18 divers involved in the rescue band.
"If Phra Pirun helps us, we might be able to do it very quickly", Narongsak said, again invoking the god of rain, who is widely revered in Thailand. "But if the rain god doesn't help, then it could be challenging".