Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Final Rescue Mission For Trapped Thai Boys' Football Team Is Underway

Final Rescue Mission For Trapped Thai Boys' Football Team Is Underway

Two of the boys possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said. Another five still await rescue, including the team's 25-year-old coach.

Due to fear of spreading disease, medical authorities are still not allowing the boys to have direct contact with their parents, who had to wear surgical robes and masks and were not allowed to hug their sons when visiting them in hospital.

Hospital officials said the boys could eat bland foods, but not anything spicy. The 18-day ordeal ended after three rescue missions which involved the Thai navy SEALs and divers from around the world.

Importantly, as of the time of this writing, eight of the 13 trapped people have already been saved by the heroic actions of rescue divers and support teams. Bancha Duriyapan told a news conference punctuated by applause from the dozens of Thai and foreign journalists and others in attendance. He said rescuers told the parents that the "strongest children" would be brought out first. "If I ask too much, he might not provide it".

And, Foisey said, the boys do have one thing going for them: "I'm sure these kids were very determined to get home".

Their friends were full of optimism - and worry.

"If everything goes right, we will see four kids and a doctor and three Seals that have stayed with the kids will all come out".

"Even when my friends have left the cave, I'm anxious about their physical well-being".

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"I hope that in some way our words of support may help bring them a little peace and courage in these hard moments of uncertainty and concern". Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha visited the hospital Monday, and spoke to relatives and hospital workers.

Rescuers began the operation at 4am United Kingdom time and are determined to get them out of the Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand, before monsoon rains that could last until October make any evacuation impossible.

Officials will be meeting late Monday to discuss Tuesday's plan.

Their state of health posed a further challenge to the rescue effort, as did the surging water levels and rough subterranean terrain.

Nargonsak said this phase may take longer than the previous two rescue missions, the longer, first missing taking 11 hours.

Speaking to NBC's "Today" on Monday, he said: "The main challenge is that we are dealing with young kids that are in no way trained to do cave diving". "All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave", the SEAL unit said on its Facebook page, adding all were safe. US military personnel also helped.

Jesada said the first four taken out are eating well. The safety of the divers, who have meticulously planned the mission, is also paramount. "But if the rain god doesn't help, then it could be challenging".

Associated Press writers Kaweewit Kaewjinda and Stephen Wright wrote this story.

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