Thai rescue teams find 12 missing boys, coach inside cave

Despite the tireless effort and international assistance there has been no contact with the group since they were reported missing

Despite the tireless effort and international assistance there has been no contact with the group since they were reported missing

Sky News' Lisa Holland, who is at the scene, said: "We have been told by a teacher at a school where half of the boys go to (that) the boys have been found and that they are alive but they are very weak".

After nine days of darkness, the 12 trapped Thai boys and their coach have been found.

CHIANG RAI, THAILAND - JULY 2: Rescue workers work on the water pumping machine at the entrance of Tham Luang Nang Non cave on July 2, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Heavy rains that flooded cave passages are thought to have trapped them.

The heavy downpours also made search and rescue operations hard.

"You have been here ten days", a British rescuer responds.

As the days wore on with the group missing, distraught family members had placed fruit, desserts, sugary drinks and candies on mats near the cave as an offering to the spirits which some people believe protect the cave and the forest.

The 25-year-old coach and the team, aged 11 to 16, were reportedly known to explore the region.

They also reported how divers from the Thai Navy SEALs have been involved in locating the trapped team-mates. One of them asks what day it is, and the rescuer responds, "Monday".

The mothers and families of the missing boys have held prayer sessions at the entrance to the cave, where there is a shrine with a statue of the Buddha.

The boys have been provided with energy gel to eat, the Thai navy SEAL unit said on its official Facebook page.

"As of now we have not yet reached Pattaya Beach", he said.

As part of the rescue effort, search parties have been lowered down shafts on the mountainside, but it was unclear what progress they had made.

Relatives of the missing boys pray, after the 12 boys and their soccer coach have been found alive in the cave where they've been missing for over a week after monsoon rains blocked the main entrance, July 02, 2018, in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

But late on Monday all 13 of them were found with video footage taken by their rescuers showing them sitting together still in their soccer kits above the water level inside the dark cave.

A military transport helicopter carries a drill machine to be used for the rescue search of missing 12 boys and their soccer.

One veteran rescue diver, Butch Hendrick, told CNN an underwater rescue could take a very long time as each member of the group would need to be taken out by divers individually.

On Monday, Chiang Rai's provincial governor broke the news of the team's rescue by naval divers, delighting a nation which has anxiously followed every twist and turn of the dramatic effort to save them. "They've got some medical doctors who are also divers, who are ready to get into the caves".

Mr Narongsak said the passageway the divers were making their way through goes upwards in some places and downwards in others and is extremely narrow, making it hard for divers to fit through with all their gear.

The governor said they would keep draining the water from the cave while doctors and nurses would dive in to the cave to check the health of the boys and their coach. The Thai SEALs and later their support teams had been diving around the clock since 2 a.m. Monday in nearly impossible conditions. "We think them being athletic and strong is something in their favor".

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