Thailand Navy SEALs Confirm Multiple Boys of Youth Soccer Team Rescued from Cave

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2018

In this undated photo released by Royal Thai Navy on Saturday, July 7, 2018, Thai rescue teams arrange water pumping system at the entrance to a flooded cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand. The local governor in charge of the mission to rescue them said Saturday that cooperating weather and falling water levels over the last few days had created appropriate conditions for evacuation, but that they won't last if it rains again.. (Royal Thai Navy via AP)
Uncredited/Associated Press

Four members of a youth soccer team trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand were rescued Sunday by a group of 13 specialist divers and five Thai Navy SEALs.

Duncan Forgan of NBC News reported the rescue operation to free the eight remaining players and their coach is ongoing, while those evacuated from the cave were transported to medical facilities. Steve George of CNN noted families were informed of the plan after the team had been trapped for 15 days.

Narongsak Osottanakorn, the governor of the country's Chiang Rai Province and the leader of the rescue mission, said the dive team is working with doctors to determine the order of exit, per Forgan.

"There's no time limit on the operation," he said. "It depends on the weather. It depends on the water levels. If something changes we'll stop. But I expect the operation to finish in the next couple of days."

United States President Donald Trump posted a message on Twitter about the efforts:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

The U.S. is working very closely with the Government of Thailand to help get all of the children out of the cave and to safety. Very brave and talented people!

Narongsak explained the group decided to move forward with the mission because heavy rains are expected in the area in the coming days, which could have further complicated the rescue.

"We have reached peak readiness," the governor said. "The meaning of readiness is…perfect weather, water and the kids' readiness, physical and mentally."

Forgan noted the operation has so far "progressed much quicker than expected."