Incredible operation in pictures: All 12 boys, coach rescued from Thailand cave

Incredible operation in pictures: All 12 boys, coach rescued from Thailand cave

The last four of the boys and the team's 25-year-old coach were rescued Tuesday from a flooded cave in northern Thailand, ending an ordeal that lasted more than two weeks.

After days of rain, the boys were located on July 2, by two British divers and members of the Thai navy SEALS.

The head of the rescue operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn, said earlier on Tuesday the final stage would be "more challenging" because five people would be brought out, not four as on previous days, along with three Navy SEALs who have been staying with the boys since they were found. One Thai navy diver died last Friday while supporting the mission.

Initially, rescuers said the boys (who are aged between 11 and 17) might have to wait until the end of the rainy season before they could be safely brought out from the cave, which would have involved waiting several months.

He said the group can eat, move about, and talk. I'd like to send out shirts to them!

"I have one [of] the world's best engineering teams, who normally design spaceships and spacesuits, working on this thing 24 hours a day", Musk wrote in an email to Dick Stanton, one of the leaders of the search and rescue effort in Thailand, on July 8.

The four boys rescued first are "well, they're up and about", Sky News' southeast Asia correspondent, Siobhan Robbins, said.

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On the Twitter-like Sina Weibo site, the hashtag "Thai boys football team rescued" ranked 39th on Tuesday night in China.

Manchester United is greatly relieved to learn that the 12 footballers and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand are. Eight of the boys-all of whom are in good health-have been rescued so far.

A helicopter delivered the boys and their coach to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital in Chiang Rai, the closest city to the cave complex, where the 12 boys and their coach were reunited on a dedicated floor. "If I see him, I just want to hug him and tell him that I missed him very much", she said.

Staff previously said their first assessments would focus on the boys' breathing and signs of hypothermia, as well as a potentially fatal lung infection known as cave disease. Parents were allowed to visit, but have had to keep their distance. People across the world held their breath as the second group of boys was escorted out on Monday, leaving just four others and their coach trapped inside.

It even eclipsed reaction to the news of U.S. President Donald Trump's latest Supreme Court nominee, which was the eighth-ranked topic.

They are part of a youth soccer team known as the Wild Boars.