After 18 days, all 12 boys, coach rescued from Thai cave

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IMAGE: An ambulance carrying rescued boys travels to a hospital from a military airport in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

After 18 days, all 12 boys, coach rescued from Thai cave

Eight Thai boys were brought out of the cave on stretchers over the first two days.

After more than two weeks trapped inside a cave complex in Thailand, all 12 boys and their football coach have finally been rescued.

The last three members of the youth football team and their coach were pulled out of the cave on Tuesday.
“All 12 wild boars and the coach have left the cave. all safe. Now waiting to receive 4 divers to come out. Hooyah,” the Thai navy SEALs said in a post on Facebook.

IMAGE: The divers going inside the cave to rescue the final four boys and their football coach. Photograph: Kin courtesy @elonmusk/Twitter

A crack team of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS has been guiding the boys out through nearly 4 km (2.5 miles) of sometimes submerged, pitch-dark channels.
 
The boys were exploring the caves on June 23 with their coach when they were trapped inside by heavy seasonal rains.
 
After they were found on July 2, officials cautioned it could take some time to get them out, but with heavy rain forecast to hit the region authorities decided to act.
How the boys were rescued
Graphic: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com

The miraculous mission was a battle against time and heavy rainfall prediction for the week, which was likely to flood tunnels once again, making the entire operation difficult to carry out.
The eight boys brought out on Sunday and Monday were in good health overall and some asked for chocolate bread for breakfast, officials said.
Two of the boys had suspected lung infections but the four boys from the first group rescued were all walking around their hospital beds.
They are still being quarantined from their parents because of the risk of infection and would likely be kept in hospital for a week to undergo tests, officials said.
Four more of the boys were carried on stretchers out of the labyrinthine Tham Luang cave on the Myanmar border at dusk on Monday, bringing to eight the number brought out after two rescue pushes on successive days.
People across Thailand, and the world, have cheered the rescue operation.
Technology billionaire Elon Musk visited the cave and offered up a specially built kid-sized submarine which the team turned down as it was ‘not practical’. 

How the Thai cave rescue unfolded
June 23: The 12 boys and coach were trapped inside the cave.
June 25: Thai Royal Navy SEAL divers reach the cave and find handprints on the wall, but pause the search again because of flooding. Officials start pumping out water.
July 2: Two British divers found the missing boys and their coach.
July 6: A former Thai navy SEAL aiding the rescue effort dies due to lack of oxygen during the operation.
July 8: Divers rescued four of the boys out through tight passages and flooded caverns.
July 9: Divers take four more boys to safety during the second day of the rescue operation.
July 10: On the third day of the rescue op, divers bring out the remaining four boys and their coach, ending an 18-day ordeal.

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