Cave rescue: The dramatic mission to save boys in pictures

Fighting time, high waters, divers prepare to rescue second group of Thai boys from cave

"We'll start preparing for the next rescue operation, and we believe we'll do better than today and it will be highly successful", the rescue mission chief said.

Four were rescued Sunday and another four were rescued on Monday. "We heard four boys are out but we do not know who they are".

His announcement, at a news conference more than an hour after helicopters and ambulances were seen rushing from the cave area, drew cheers and applause.

The source said the boys arrived at the chamber at 4pm after being rescued by foreign and Navy Seal divers from the ledge where they had sheltered from floodwaters for more than a week. Divers guided them though more than two miles of dark and narrow tunnels filled with murky water and strong currents. The device could be used to rescue one boy at a time as it has space to fit in one person with his arms crossed, he said.

In an indication of how risky the journey can be, a former Thai navy diver died in the caves on Friday.

He said the health of the five people remaining in the cave was "still good" and rescuers would resume an operation to retrieve them in about 20 hours' time. That brought the total number of boys rescued to five. He said Dr. Harris had all the qualifications to undertake the rescue mission, according to the paper.

An ambulance with flashing lights left the site just hours after the second phase of the perilous rescue operation was launched on Monday.

The saga has dominated global headlines, with the team spending nine days unaccounted for inside the cave before British divers found the emaciated and dishevelled group huddling on a muddy bank.

The boys and their coach, whose team is known as the Wild Boars, became stranded when they were exploring the cave after a practice game on June 23.

But with oxygen levels inside dropping to risky lows and the prospect of heavy rains flooding the area completely, authorities decided they had to move quickly, and take the group out through the water-filled tunnels.

The search and rescue operation has riveted people both in Thailand and internationally, with journalists from across the globe travelling to this town along the border with Myanmar to report on the ordeal.

The most risky part of the journey out of the labyrinth cave system is the first kilometer, during which they are required to squeeze through a narrow flooded channel. He posted a video of a diver testing the device in a pool.

"We have more operating personnel, and we have more expertise than yesterday", Narongsak said. "Very courageous and talented people!"

The divers also brought out touching notes for the families written by some of the trapped boys.

Trips from the entrance to where the team is trapped and back to the entrance take about 11 hours and include walking, wading, climbing and diving, the BBC reported.

Pad Krapao is a basil rice meal with stir-fried pork or chicken, topped with a fried egg. "With love." "Don't be anxious", wrote another boy, Mick.

"The Prime Minister wants this to be a lesson, this should not happen again in Thailand", Narongsak said. "I want to say thanks for all the support and I want to apologise to the parents", he wrote.

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