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Thailand Cave Rescue: Anxious Parents Sleep at Cave Site

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Thai rescue team members walk inside a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23 in Mae Sai Chiang Rai province northern Thailand

When they arrive, the British team will consist of seven experienced cave divers |and three non-divers to help with communication within the cave and to provide |general support, the BCRC said in a statement.

A girl shows a collage of pictures before relatives and friends begin prayers for the 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded cave, at Mesai Grace Church in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand. "They are now at the field hospital near the cave", said Tossathep Boonthong, chief of Chiang Rai's health department and part of the rescue team. Narongsak said the four were then taken to a hospital. Gen. Anupong said that process could take several hours.

He said that 13 foreign and five Thai divers were taking part in the rescue and that two divers would accompany each boy as they're gradually extracted.

In comments released by the government, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said the same divers who took part in Sunday's rescue will also conduct the next operation as they know the cave conditions and what to do.

"Now and in the next three or four days, the conditions are flawless [for evacuation] in terms of the water, the weather and the boys' health", said Narongsak, governor of the Chiang Rai province, where the caves are.

The operation began at 10 a.m.

The first boy to emerge Monday was seen on a stretcher just before 4:30 p.m. local time (5:30 a.m. ET).

The first four boys who were trapped in the cave in Thailand have been rescued and are in "perfect" health.

The team of 12 boys and their coach entered the cave system on June 23, but torrential rain caused the water level within the cave to rise rapidly, forcing them to venture deeper.

Monsoon flooding cut off their escape route and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

He said the next operation will be conducted on Tuesday.

"They can not decide how many of them will be able to come out for the first operation".

One cave explorer who has been inside the cave complex described it as a "labyrinth", adding it was much more hard to navigate than any other he had experienced.

In the operation rescue the children participate 90 divers.

Authorities have said it takes roughly 11 hours to do a round-trip from the cave entrance to where the boys are huddled on a muddy bank.

Twelve youths aged from 11 to 16 were trapped, while a massive worldwide rescue effort has been mounted including Thai Navy divers and foreign volunteers. That's the name of the young boys' team.

It comes after heavy rain fell overnight with grey skies greeting rescuers when they woke up on Monday morning to continue efforts to bring the team to safety.

Rescue officials said yesterday was the best day to attempt the escape because water levels at many areas inside the cave were at their lowest in 10 days, rendering most of the escape route "walkable".

After pondering for days how to get the 13 out, a rescue operation was launched on Sunday when four of the boys were brought out, tethered to rescue divers. General Kongcheep Tantrawanit said, referring to the area where rescue workers had set up a base.

The rescue got off to a good start, with the first boy coming out at 5.40pm local time (11.40am United Kingdom time). Eight boys were rescued in two separate missions and brought to a hospital in the nearby city of Chiang Rai all in good condition, according to public health officials.

A frantic rescue mission was hatched in the week since they were found. "We have tried all possible ways to get the boys out, but sometimes we can't win over nature".

Narongsak said the operation on Monday went more smoothly than on Sunday and took two hours less, adding, "We think tomorrow we will do better than today and will succeed 100 percent". The second boy came out 10 minutes later. Officials feared that an incoming storm could send water flooding back into the cave and make an escape even more hard for the boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach.

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