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Thai Cave Rescue: All 12 Boys Rescued, Coach Not Far Behind

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Local Editor

ALL 12 boys are free from the Thai cave in a modern day miracle. Every member of the Wild Boars football team that were trapped in an underground cave are now free, ending a complicated rescue mission that has captivated the world.

It is understood the team’s coach is still at the third chamber where rescuers have set up a base camp, but will be coming out soon. He will be followed by a doctor and several Thai Navy SEALs that have accompanied the team.

It brings an end to the third and final rescue mission to save a young soccer team that has spent more than two weeks trapped underground.

On Facebook, the Thai Navy SEALS summed up the mood: “Today the Wild Boar pack will be reunited. Hooyah!”

The eleventh boy came to the surface at 5.15pm local time (8.15pm AEST), the tenth at around 4.30pm local time (7.30pm AEST) and the ninth just minutes earlier at 4.06pm.

Thai authorities have been reluctant to confirm any rescues until the end of each day but a flurry of ambulances and helicopters has tended to be a giveaway. News agency Reuters said a witness saw three young people being carried out of the cave on stretchers.

It’s thought the youngest boy in the group, aged 11, is in Tuesday’s rescue group.

Authorities were desperate to get the mission done on Tuesday with officials on the ground reportedly saying it is now a “race against time” as the weather worsens.

The BBC’s Jonathan Head said the incessant rain had focused minds: “The team of Thai and foreign divers has gone back in to try to bring out the last four boys and their coach, in what one person involved in the operation described as a race against time — the rain is likely to increase water levels in the cave system.”

At 10.08am local time (1.08pm AEST) 19 divers headed back into the tunnels.

“We expect that everybody will be out today, the children and coach and everybody will be out today,” said mission commander and Governor of Chiang rai province Narongsak Osottanakorn, on Tuesday afternoon.

Applause is said to have rung out at the press center when officials announced the mission was underway.

However, Narongsak sounded a note of caution telling reporters that the third missing was more perilous than the previous two. On Sunday and Monday the teams only had to pull out four people in each push. On Tuesday, five people need to be rescued along with a doctor and three Navy SEALs.

“Please give us time to work. Today’s mission is more demanding than the two previous days.” he said, warning it could be a longer wait.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team