8 out of 13 now rescued from Thailand cave

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The boys and their coach went exploring in the massive Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 23 after a soccer practice, and were cut off when a rainstorm flooded the cave.

The eight boys who've been rescued so far have all swum out of the cave, each escorted by two expert divers.

The rescue workers need 20 hours before the third operation, Osatanakorn said Monday afternoon, according to a Guardian reporter.

The global effort to save the group has paired divers in "buddy teams" with the remaining eight boys and their coach. It is not immediately clear how the rains had affected levels inside the cave. Two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said.

Four more boys were rescued overnight after the first four emerged yesterday.

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Four fellow teammates and their coach, Ekaphol Chantawong, remain inside, with hopes that they will be rescued on Tuesday.

The members of the "Wild Boars" team, aged between 12 and 16, were guided to safety through the twisting, submerged passages of the cave complex by a team of global expert divers flanked by Thai Navy Seals over two days in a meticulously planned operation.

After a perilous journey to safety through the depths of the Tham Luang caves, the rescued members of the Thai boys football team will have to wait before sharing a hug with their loved ones.

By last night, elite divers had managed to bring out eight members of the football team which included 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach.

For the final operation tomorrow, Mr Narongsak said the rescuers would use the same plan with some adjustments because the number of survivors to be extracted would be five instead of four as was the case for the last two days.

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"We expect that if there is no unusual condition. the four boys, one coach, the doctor, and three SEALs who have been with the boys since the first day will come out today", he told a news conference to loud cheering.

Monday's mission involved 18 divers from Thailand and overseas.

The group was found nine days later in a cramped chamber 2.5 miles inside the cave system by two British volunteer rescue divers. Narongsak on Monday said their identities were being protected out of respect for the families of those still trapped inside the cave.

Rescuers had planned to take a 10- to 20-hour pause in the rescue efforts to replenish the cave with oxygen and give the team of 18 divers leading the boys on the hard journey a chance to rest.

More worrying, however, oxygen levels in the chamber where the boys sought refuge were falling.

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"If Phra Pirun helps us, we might be able to do it very quickly", Narongsak said, again invoking the god of rain, who is widely revered in Thailand.

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