On June 23, a group of 12 boys from a local football team in Northern Thailand went missing along with their 25-year-old coach, when they set out to explore a local cave.
Those rescued Sunday traveled more than half a mile underwater, according to Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osottanakorn, who is the head of the rescue mission. Four more boys and the coach remain in the cave. "We should hear good news again", Narongsak said. The boys were found a week ago by a British diving pair who, when told by the boys that all were alive, reacted with a typically British "Brilliant!" "And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain".
Workers have been labouring round the clock to pump water out of the cave, and authorities said heavy downpours overnight did not raise water levels inside.
Divers have said making the four kilometre journey from where the boys are trapped to freedom is a challenging one for even the experienced rescue team. Relatives were able to see them through a glass partition.
Four boys were successfully rescued from the Tham Laung cave area on Sunday in a delicate and lengthy operation.
The operation resumed after a 10-hour hiatus.
In a statement, Thailand's Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said officials discussed about the next stage of the rescue operation on Monday (July 9) morning.
For the final operation tomorrow, Mr Narongsak said the rescuers would use the same plan with some adjustments because the number of survivors to be extracted would be five instead of four as was the case for the last two days.
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13 foreign divers and five Thai navy SEALs are working in pairs to guide the boys, aged 11-16, through the cave's winding chambers.
"Think about the responsibility of taking a kid under/beneath there and the conditions are really scary", said rescuer Rafael Aroush.
On Friday, an experienced navy seal died while attempting to transport oxygen to the team in the treacherous caves.
Authorities say the rescued boys are happy and in good health.
The boys were dived out from the toughest part of the cave.
Storms were likely to continue at least through Monday as Thailand's monsoon season gains traction.
Thai officials are not only racing against worsening weather, but also lowered oxygen levels in the underground complex.
The four boys removed Sunday were hospitalized in stable condition at Prachanukroh Hospital, about 35 miles from the cave. He said it was out of respect for the families whose sons were still trapped in the cave. Divers escorted the children, who wore equipment to help them breathe.