Thailand Cave Rescue: Missing Boys Found Alive After Nine Days

Rescuers walk out of the entrance to a cave complex where 12 soccer team members and their coach went missing in Mae Sai Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand Saturday

Foreign divers prepare a rescue operation for a missing youth soccer team and its coach at Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand's Chiang Rai province. The rocky and muddy ground makes several changes in elevation along the way.

Twelve boys and their football coach who had been missing for more than a week in a cave in northern Thailand have been found alive, local officials have said. "Brilliant", a member of the multinational rescue team, speaking in English, tells the boys. All 12 boys and their football coach were alive deep inside a partially flooded cave more than a week after they disappeared, touching off a desperate search that drew global help.

But hopes of finding the boys alive had started to fade. Flood waters after heavy rain have blocked their way out.

The boys have been given energy gels to sustain them while a plan is worked out to bring them to safety.

Provincial governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said they had been found safe but "the operation isn't over".

This handout video grab taken from footage released by The Royal Thai Navy late July 2, 2018, shows missing children inside the Tham Luang cave of Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park.

"We found that most of the boys are in green condition", he said.

This is possibly the safest option.

Divers took advantage of a brief window of good weather on Monday to edge further into the cave, with the water levels dropping slowly but steadily every hour thanks to round-the-clock pumping.

Tired relatives have camped out at the cave's entrance for more than a week, desperately waiting for news of the boys, while the head of the Buddhist clergy has urged prayers from a nation fixated on the fate of the group.

It's been reported the boys and adult are all too weak to move, and will receive medical treatment in the cave before being brought back to the surface.

"One of them told me that they can barely see their hand in front of their face". The navy said medics will be sent to help and improve conditions in the cave.

More monsoon rains are on the way. "You have been here 10 days".

If they are to wait until the water recedes by itself, it would mean the boys will have to stay in the cave for months and have to be continuously supplied with food and assistance.

Rescue teams have been looking in the nearby jungles for alternative routes into the cave.

But experts have cautioned that taking inexperienced divers through the unsafe corridors of muddy, zero-visibility waters would be a very risky operation. He said the diving teams included doctors.

By all accounts, the dives into the cave have been a challenge.

The first voice 12 young Thai footballers and their coach heard after nine days trapped in caves was that of Briton John Volanthen.

The group went missing on June 23.

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