THAILAND – It was first officially reported around 8 a.m. Sunday the first two boys of the Thai soccer team have been rescued from a Thai cave where they had been trapped for more than two weeks.
Now it is official that four of the 12 boys have been saved. A Thai official heading the cave rescue says the next phase of the operation to start in 10-20 hours.
Here is everything we know so far:
The 12 soccer players and their soccer coach have been trapped inside the cave for more than two weeks. They got trapped after exploring the cave after a soccer practice June 23. Due to heavy rain, the rescue was initially delayed.
The ages of the players range from 11 to 16. The soccer coach is 25 years old. The boys and their coach's belongings were found just a day later, and they were found alive July 2.
The rescue mission began around midnight EST. The boys have to dive uot of the flooded cave in order to get out. Expert divers entered the cave to help the boys to safety.
Upon rescue, ambulances and helicopters were outside the cave. It is not known officially whom the ambulances were for, but the helicopters were there to be ready to take rescued people to a hospital.
Faster than expected, but rain on the way
If every person was to be rescued, it was expected to take two-to-four days. With four boys already being free from the cave, the rescue is going better, and faster, than expected.
However, time may be running out with heavy rain on the horizon. Local authorities said incoming monsoons could potentially raise water levels in the cave. Mix that with falling oxygen levels, and time is ticking for the Navy SEALs to complete their mission.
The four boys that have been rescued so far are all healthy, according to NBC News reports. They were transported to a local hospital to receive treatments.
The boys were treated at the entrance for hypothermia and other breathing difficulties. They are also expected to be treated for emotional needs at the hospital.