Eight boys brought safely out of flooded Thai caves in two days

GETTYRick Stanton and John Volanthen are the brave British cave divers that have joined the cave rescue

GETTYRick Stanton and John Volanthen are the brave British cave divers that have joined the cave rescue

Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda had said early Monday that the same group of expert divers who took part in Sunday's rescue would return to extricate the others because they know the cave conditions and what to do.

As monsoon rains threaten to fill the cave with more water, diving crews are racing against to clock to deliver the last five boys and their coach from the cave system.

The second phase of a rescue operation has ended for the day, with more than half of the Thai soccer team rescued from the cave.

On Sunday afternoon, Elon Musk tweeted that the kid-size submarine his team had developed to assist with the rescue of Thai boys trapped in a cave was en route to Thailand.

The head of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, said last week they would bring the fittest people in the group out first.

A total of eight boys have now been brought out of the cave complex. Officials have said storms forecast for Chiang Rai province in Thailand's far north had factored into their decision to go ahead with a complicated and unsafe plan to have the boys and their coach dive out of the cave.

Authorities have said the boys are being held close to divers and wear oxygen masks to enable normal breathing. The hordes of global and local media have been kept back from the cave and the hospital in Chiang Rai, where the rescued boys are believed to be under observation.

The four boys who were rescued on Sunday appeared to be in good health, Thai officials said, but were undergoing a battery of medical tests in the hospital to ensure they were free from disease and infection.

Dr. Harris on Saturday undertook the unsafe dive to reach the 12 Thai boys and their coach and later gave the final approval on the boys' health, clearing the way for the rescue attempt which commenced yesterday and succeed in bringing out four of the survivors, the paper reported.

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The first part of the rescue involves elite divers who are holding the boys' oxygen tanks in front of them as they are escorted through narrow submerged holes.

The rescue operation was started on Sunday as more rain is expected this week, which would make it harder to rescue the boys.

Rescue operations resumed at 11am today, following a 20-hour operation yesterday that saw four members of the Wild Boar FC removed to safety. Four boys and their football coach are still trapped inside the cave.

The saga has dominated global headlines, with the team spending nine days unaccounted for inside the cave before British divers found the emaciated and dishevelled group huddling on a muddy bank.

Rain was a concern as preparations were made for Sunday's rescue.

Ivan Karadzic, a Danish dive instructor who lives in Thailand and who was involved in the rescue effort of the four people on Sunday as a support diver, said late that night that "it went surprisingly well, we were expecting bad things to happen, and they didn't".

"We've used all the oxygen", Osatanakorn told reporters.

Osotthanakorn said the boys were hungry and asking for a Thai dish of beef with basil and chilli. Decker said he sent four engineers to the cave site, and they assisted rescuers by boosting pumping power 40 per cent.

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