Thailand cave rescue: all 12 boys and coach successfully rescued – live

Thank you God! 


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Thailand cave rescue: all 12 boys and coach successfully rescued – live” was written by Matthew Weaver (now) and Helen Davidson (earlier), for theguardian.com on Tuesday 10th July 2018 20.13 Asia/Kolkata

Everyone out

The remaining doctor and three Thai navy Seals are now also safely out of the cave.

Elon Musk has been getting tetchy with Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation, after he politely turned down Musk’s offer of help and said his mini sub was not needed.

“Even though their equipment is technologically sophisticated, it doesn’t fit with our mission to go in the cave,” Osatanakorn told reporters.

Musk suggested Osatanakorn was no expert on the matter.

The US first lady, Melania Trump, has praised the “amazing & heroic global effort” of the rescue. Is there a coded message there aimed at her husband who is not a great advocate of heroic global efforts?

Here’s a video report on the final rescue day.

 

“The incredible scenes we have witnessed are a model of international cooperation and coordinated selflessness,” writes Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore.

This story touches us because it is elemental, but also because every detail runs counter to the egomania and selfishness and fake bravado that appears to be running the world. The parents of the boys wrote to reassure the young coach that they didn’t blame him. Some say he had got the boys meditating in the cave. The Thai government has calmly insisted on protecting the boys and their families from cameras.

Thai TV has shown footage of an ambulance believed to be carrying the coach, Ekaphol Chantawong to the hospital in Chiang Rai. Here’s what we know about him:

Chantawong, 25, took his squad into the cave on 23 June. He was once ordained as a Buddhist monk, and since leaving the monkhood has spent much of his time caring for his grandmother. Thai news outlets have reported that the authorities have not ruled out charging him with a crime, but Thai government spokesman Lt Gen Werachon Sukondhapatipak told the Guardian that “no one is talking about that”.

Werachon said the coach’s presence had been a comfort to the boys: “The coach is advising them that they need to lie down, of course [try] meditation, try not to move their bodies too much, try not to waste their energy. And of course, by meditation, they stay conscious all the time, so their mind will not be wandering around.”

The parents of the boys wrote the coach telling him: “Please don’t blame yourself.”

“To all the kids,” one letter, written by the mother of Nattawut Takamsai, 14, said: “We are not mad at you at all. Do take good care of yourself. Don’t forget to cover yourself with blankets as the weather is cold. We’re worried. You will come out soon.”

Addressing the coach she said: “We want you to know that no parents are angry with you at all, so don’t you worry about that.”

The last three navy seals and the medic, who were with the boys for the last few days, are still in the cave. It is unclear when they will emerge, but they are said to be on their way out.

The weakest boys were the last to be taken out, sources have said. They are understood to include the youngest in the group – 11-year-old Chanin Wiboonrungrueng.

Updated

The city of Chiang Rai is starting to party as drivers honk their horns, according to Reuters.

“This is an important event in my life. It is something I will remember,” said a visibly emotional Rachapol Ngamgrabuan, an official at Chiang Rai’s provincial press office.

“There were times when I cried,” he added. “Happy. Very happy to see all Thai people love each other.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha said he would host a celebration for all of those involved in the multinational rescue effort.

“We will host a meal for all sides,” said Prayuth.

People react near a hospital, where the children’s football team members are being treated.
People react near a hospital, where the children’s football team members are being treated.
Photograph: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images

What we know so far

  • All twelve members of a boy’s football team and their coach have been rescued, after being trapped in a cave in Thailand for 18 days. The Thai navy Seals, who have been running the operation, confirmed that all 13 were out. “We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science or what”, the Seals said on their Facebook page.
  • The news has been greeted by global jubilation and the rescue workers have been lauded by world leaders. Donald Trump tweeted “great job” and Theresa May said: “The world was watching and will be saluting the bravery of all those involved.”
  • Three navy seals and a doctor, who had been with the boys, are expected to emerge from the cave soon. The four boys and their coach rescued on Tuesday have been airlifted to hospital to join their eight teammates rescued on Sunday and Monday.
  • Fifa has confirmed that the rescued boys will not be able to attend the World Cup final on Sunday as previously hoped. Doctors have said they need to remain in hospital for at least seven days. Manchester United have invited the boys to Old Trafford next season.
  • The final rescue operation began at 10.08am local time on Tuesday as the first eight boys, freed in operations on Sunday and Monday, recuperated at a hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai. The authorities said preparations for the final rescue mission were unaffected by heavy overnight rain.
  • Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, a physician from the Thai ministry of public health, said the eight boys rescued on Sunday and Monday were “cheerful”. Two boys among the first batch to be freed, who he said were aged between 14 and 16, had shown possible signs of pneumonia and all had low temperatures when they arrived.
  • The rescued boys are being kept in isolation to avoid the risk of infection, but the first batch have been seen by their parents through a glass window. They are not yet allowed to eat the rich Thai food they’ve been requesting – so far it’s diluted porridge, bread, and some chocolate.
  • The office of Thailand’s prime minister has thanked the tech entrepreneur Elon Musk for his offers of help. Officials praised his mini-submarine but said it was not needed. Musk praised the “outstanding rescue team”.

Fifa has confirmed that the boys won’t be able to make the World Cup final on Sunday while they recover from their ordeal, the BBC’s Richard Conway reports.

Medics said the boys would have stay in hospital for at least seven days.

The last of the rescued boys are being airlifted to hospital as night falls over the area.

Volunteer rescue workers have been shown singing and dancing on Thai TV.

Amid global jubilation many are pausing to remember Saman Kunan, the former Thai Navy Seal who died last week trying to save the boys.

They include the Italian football team AS Roma and the Spanish royal family.

Bhutan’s prime minister, Tshering Tobgay, joins the international celebrations. “Hooyah!!!” he tweeted.

Man U invites team to Old Trafford

Manchester United has invited the boys to Old Trafford.

Updated

The BBC’s Howard Johnson finds an English football team angle.

It’s coming home.

Trump: ‘great job!’

Donald Trump joins in the celebrations. “Such a beautiful moment – all freed, great job!” he tweeted.

Updated

The tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, who offered an unneeded mini-submarine to the rescue operation, has added his congratulations.

Angela Merkel’s spokesman has also welcomed the news.

Steffen Seibert tweeted: “So much to admire: the perseverance of the brave guys and their coach, and the ability and the determination of their rescuers.”

What a wonderful message #Thailand!

The celebrations have begun, but we’re still waiting for news of the three Navy seals and the doctor who were with the boys in the cave.

“We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave,” says the latest Facebook post by the Thai navy Seals.

Theresa May joins the growing list of world leaders welcoming the news.

Just to recap:

All 12 boys and their football coach have been successfully rescued from a cave in northern Thailand after more than two weeks trapped underground.

“The 12 Wild Boars and coach have emerged from the cave and they are safe,” the Thai navy Seal unit said on its official Facebook page. It added: “Hooyah”.

Hooyah looks set to be the word of the year.

A new update from Thai navy Seals says we are still waiting for the divers and the doctor to emerge from the cave. “Send encouragement to them,” its Facebook page urges.

Iceland’s prime minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir, was the first world leader to welcome the news. She won’t be the last.

What we know so far

  • All twelve boys and their coach have been rescued, after being trapped in a cave in Thailand for 18 days. The Thai navy Seals, who have been running the operation, confirmed that all 13 members of the Wild Boar football team, have been rescued in an update on its Facebook page.
  • Three navy seals and a doctor, who have been with the boys, are expected to emerge from the cave soon. The rescued boys are being airlifted to hospital.
  • The operation began at 10.08am local time on Tuesday as the first eight boys, freed in operations on Sunday and Monday, recuperated at a hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai. The authorities said preparations for the final rescue mission were unaffected by heavy overnight rain.
  • Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, a physician from the Thai ministry of public health, said the eight boys rescued on Sunday and Monday were “cheerful”. Two boys among the first batch to be freed, who he said were aged between 14 and 16, had shown possible signs of pneumonia and all had low temperatures when they arrived.
  • The rescued boys are being kept in isolation to avoid the risk of infection, but the first batch have been seen by their parents through a glass window. They are not yet allowed to eat the rich Thai food they’ve been requesting – so far it’s diluted porridge, bread, and some chocolate.
  • They will remain in hospital for at least seven days. This mean they will probably have to turn down a Fifa invitation to the World Cup fina on Sunday.
  • The office of Thailand’s prime minister has thanked the tech entrepreneur Elon Musk for his offers of help. Officials praised his mini-submarine but said it was not needed.

The Thai Navy seals have confirmed the four “frogs” remain in the cave. These are a doctor and three navy seals who have been supporting the boys.

Confirmed: 12 rescued and coach

The 12th boy has been rescued and the coach, the Thai navy Seals have confirmed. “Hooyah.”

Updated

Report: 12th rescued

A twelfth person has been seen being carried out of the cave, a witness has told Reuters. Once again the Guardian is trying to confirm.

A foreign journalist has been detained for flying a drone near the cave entrance area, according to Thai media. On Monday the authorities complained that a journalist flew a drone above the operation.

There are also reports that some media have been listening to police radio reports. “This is really wrong,” said Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation.

Local TV says the tenth and eleventh boys to be rescued are about to be airlifted to hospital, while the ninth boy has reached the hospital in Chiang Rai.

Here’s footage of an ambulance taking one of the rescued boys to hospital.

Thai navy seals: ‘the Wild Boars will be reunited’

“Today the Wild Boar pack will be reunited”, the Thai navy seals confidently predicts in a new post on Facebook. “Hooyah!”

The time between getting the rescued boys from the cave to hospital-bound helicopters has been slower today, but the ninth person to emerge from the cave has now been airlifted to Chiang Rai.

Chanin Wiboonrungrueng
Chanin Wiboonrungrueng
Photograph: Thai Rath

There are more local reports that the eleventh boy to be rescued is Chanin Wiboonrungrueng, who at aged 11 is the youngest of the group.

Our guide to the team has a little more about him.

Titan, as he is nicknamed, has been playing football for five years. When he joined his school’s sports club three years ago, he was invited to play for the Wild Boars.

The rescued boys were given anti-anxiety drugs but not anaesthetic, the Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, has revealed.

Updated

Thai prime minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, was given a briefing on the operation by the man in charge Narongsak Osatanakorn.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is shown a map of the Tham Luang cave area
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is shown a map of the Tham Luang cave area
Photograph: Thai Government Spokesperson’S Office Handout/EPA

Updated

Confirmed: 11th rescued

Guardian sources have confirmed that 11 people have now been rescued from the cave.

Thai TV said the eleventh to be rescued is the smallest, assumed to be 11-year-old Chanin Wiboonrungrueng. His identity has not been confirmed.

Reuters has a little more detail:

An eleventh person was rescued on Tuesday from a flooded Thai cave complex where 12 boys and their football coach were trapped for more than two weeks, raising hopes all 13 would be out by the end of the day.

A Reuters witness saw three people being carried out of the Tham Luang cave on stretchers separately on Tuesday, the third day of the rescue operation.

Report: 11th rescued

An eleventh person has been seen being carried out of the cave, according to Reuters. The Guardian is trying to confirm.

What we know so far

  • Two more people have been rescued from the flooded Thai cave complex on what authorities hope will be the last day of the rescue operation. A witness saw people being carried out of the Tham Luang cave on stretchers. They were the ninth and tenth to emerge from the cave since the rescue effort began on Sunday.
  • Seven people remain in the cave. The identities of those rescued have not been confirmed. If the adults are rescued last those remaining in the cave would be two more boys, their coach, three navy seals and a doctor. Narongsak Osatanakor, the head of the operation, said: “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. Four plus one coach, so it’s five.”
  • The operation began at 10.08am local time on Tuesday as the first eight boys, freed in operations on Sunday and Monday, recuperated at a hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai. The authorities said preparations for the final rescue mission were unaffected by heavy overnight rain.
  • Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, a physician from the Thai ministry of public health, said the eight boys rescued on Sunday and Monday were “cheerful”. Two boys among the first batch to be freed, who he said were aged between 14 and 16, had shown possible signs of pneumonia and all had low temperatures when they arrived.
  • The rescued boys are being kept in isolation to avoid the risk of infection, but the first batch have been seen by their parents through a glass window. They are not yet allowed to eat the rich Thai food they’ve been requesting – so far it’s diluted porridge, bread, and some chocolate.
  • They will remain in hospital for at least seven days. This mean they will probably have to turn down a Fifa invitation to the World Cup fina on Sunday.
  • The office of Thailand’s prime minister has thanked the tech entrepreneur Elon Musk for his offers of help. Officials praised his mini-submarine but said it was not needed.

The Thai navy Seals have confirmed the rescue of a ninth boy with another “Hooyah!” on its Facebook page. It has yet to confirm the rescue of a tenth boy.

Confirmed: Ten rescued

Reuters has a little more detail:

A tenth person was rescued on Tuesday from a flooded Thai cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped for more than two weeks, raising hopes all 13 would be out by the end of the day.

A Reuters witness saw two people being carried out of the Tham Luang cave on stretchers. They were the first two to be taken out on Tuesday, the third day of the rescue operation.

Eight of the boys were brought out on stretchers over the first two days – four on Sunday and four on Monday. Officials were not immediately available to comment on who had been brought out.

Rescue personnel prepare the transport for the evacuation of the boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave
Rescue personnel prepare the transport for the evacuation of the boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave
Photograph: Social Media/Reuters

Report: tenth person rescued

Reuters reports that a tenth person has been seen being carried out of the cave on a stretcher. The Guardian is trying to confirm this.

Updated

The office of Thailand’s prime minister has thanked the tech entrepreneur Elon Musk for his offer of help, AFP’s Jerome Taylor reports.

Confirmed: ninth boy rescued

A Guardian source has confirmed that a ninth boy has been rescued from the cave.

Updated

Reports: ‘ninth boy rescued’

Both CNN and Reuters are reporting that a ninth boy has been rescued. Reuters cited an official with knowledge of the operation.

CNN cited two sources: a Thai navy source and a member of the rescue team.

The Guardian in trying to get confirmation.

Updated

Chefs anticipate this will be the last rescue day as they prepare a vast vat of stir-fried pork for the rescue workers, Guardian contributor Veena Thoopkrajae reports.

Thailand’s prime minister, Prayuth Chan-o-cha, has met relatives of the boys trapped in the cave. On Monday he was due to visit the cave, but postponed the visit for fear of disrupting the rescue operation. He stayed in nearby Chiang Rai where the rescued boys are being treated.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha poses with relatives of boys trapped in the flooded Tham Luang cave
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha poses with relatives of boys trapped in the flooded Tham Luang cave
Photograph: HANDOUT/Reuters

Updated

AP says an ambulance has been seen leaving the site of the cave. But there has been no confirmation that a ninth boy has been rescued.

An ambulance leaves from the Tham Luang cave area as the operations continue for those still trapped inside the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park
An ambulance leaves from the Tham Luang cave area as the operations continue for those still trapped inside the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park
Photograph: Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

We’re still waiting for the news of the latest rescue attempt. There has been speculation that as yesterday’s operation went more quickly than Sunday’s another boy could emerge soon. But overnight rain could have made conditions much tougher in the cave, with higher water levels and stronger currents.

Members of the media report from a hill near the Tham Luang cave area as the operations continue for those still trapped inside the cave
Members of the media report from a hill near the Tham Luang cave area as the operations continue for those still trapped inside the cave
Photograph: Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

The tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has posted a new video of conditions in the cave.

He was politely told that a small submarine he offered rescue workers was surplus to requirements.

“Although his technology is good and sophisticated it’s not practical for this mission,” Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation, told reporters.

Musk tweeted that he had brought the mini submarine – “made of rocket parts and named Wild Boar after kids’ soccer team” – to the cave site, leaving it there in case it was useful in the future.

Here’s our latest report on the rescue operation:

Divers have entered a northern Thailand cave to retrieve the last four members of a football team and their coach on what rescuers hope will be the final day of the mission to free them.

The operation began at 10.08am local time on Tuesday as the first eight boys, freed in operations on Sunday and Monday, recuperated at a hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai.

Torrential rain struck the cave site on Monday evening and the downpour continued through Tuesday morning, but authorities said preparations for the final rescue mission were unaffected.

“You have seen the rain so you might be wondering – preparation for the third operation has been under way since early morning,” said , the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation.Thailand cave rescue: how are the boys getting out?Read more

“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,” he said. “Four plus one coach, so it’s five.”

Here’s a reminder of how the four remaining boys and their coach will be rescued. There are also three navy Seals and a medic still in the cave.

Thai cave rescue explainer

Even after completing the dark, treacherous journey from the depths of Tham Luang cave to safety, the rescued members of the Wild Boars football squad face additional barriers to resuming their normal lives.

Before the boys can enjoy a warm embrace with their relatives, doctors must be confident they will not make anyone ill.

Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, a Thai health department official, told the news site Kom Chad Luek there would be “no hugging or touching” until blood tests proved the boys were free of infections. He named leptospirosis and meliodosis – bacterial infections that can be transmitted through soil or water – as possible risks.

Hugh Montgomery, a professor of intensive care medicine at University College London, said caves presented a risk of tick-borne relapsing fever as well as histoplasmosis, a fungal lung infection commonly known as “cave disease”.

The policy of separation between the boys and their loved ones marks a departure from the initial plan described to the Guardian by a member of the mental health crisis assessment and treatment team at the rescue site. The original plan was to arrange for at least one parent to accompany each boy in an ambulance on the way to Chiang Rai’s Prachanukroh hospital.

Despite their ordeal, and the prospect of having to turn down a Fifa invitation to the World Cup final on doctors orders, all the rescued boys are mentally well, an official has told AFP.

“All eight are in good health, no fever… everyone is in a good mental state,” Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the public health ministry, told reporters at Chiang Rai hospital where the boys were recuperating.

Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk (centre) at a press conference on the condition of eight boys after they were rescued from Tham Luang cave
Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk (centre) at a press conference on the condition of eight boys after they were rescued from Tham Luang cave
Photograph: Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

Here’s our latest gallery of images of the rescue mission:

Ivan Karadzic, a member of international rescue team, is full of admiration for the way the rescued boys have coped with the unprecedented operation.

Speaking to the BBC he said:

They are being forced to do something that no kid has ever done before. It is not in any way normal for kids to do cave diving aged 11. They are diving in something that is considered an extremely hazardous environment, in zero visibility, the only light in there is the torches you bring yourself. We were obviously very afraid of any kind of panic. Then there is multiple equipment malfunctions you can imagine.

I cannot understand how cool these small kids are … Incredibly strong kids.

BBC interview with Ivan Karadzic

Updated

Summary

Quite a bit has happened so far today.

The main thing to note, of course, is that the third and hopefully final rescue mission began a few hours ago, with the intention of bringing out all four boys, their 25-year-old coach, and the doctor and the navy Seals who have been in the cave with them. We’ll bring you updates as we get them about that mission.

  • 19 divers went back into the cave system at 10.08am, local time.
  • Authorities hope the mission can be completed even faster than yesterday’s nine hours, which shaved two hours off the total time of the first mission.
  • Conditions remain similar to previous days, despite heavy rains overnight.
  • From the information released about the rescued boys, it’s understood the youngest, aged just 11, as well as the coach remain in the cave.
  • Health officials say the first four boys rescued have now seen their parents – through a glass window – and will soon get to speak to them. The second group of four are expected to also reunite with their parents soon.
  • The boys are in good health, although two have “minor” lung infections, and all are wearing sunglasses after spending more than two weeks in near total darkness.
  • They are undergoing further tests, and have been kept away from TVs so as not to impact their mental health.
  • They are also not yet allowed to eat the rich Thai food they’ve been requesting – so far it’s diluted porridge, bread, and some chocolate.
  • They will remain in hospital for at least seven days, meaning they won’t make it to the World Cup finals, which they were invited to by the president of Fifa.
  • Elon Musk has shown up with his mini-submarine and left it at the site, but the rescue chief has said it’s not of any use.

Updated

“Hooyah,” the Thai Navy Seals have posted to Facebook.

“Today is 10 July 2018. It will be longer than previous ones. We will celebrate together! Hooyah!”

Updated

The rescue chief has politely dismissed the much publicised attempts by tech entrepreneur, Elon Musk, to help the mission. According to his tweets, Musk has spent the past few days designing and building a small submarine, ostensibly to help get the boys out safely.

“Although his technology is good and sophisticated it’s not practical for this mission,” Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation, said a short time ago.

Earlier today, Musk tweeted that he had brought the mini submarine – “made of rocket parts and named Wild Boar after kids’ soccer team” – to the cave site, leaving it there in case it was useful in the future. Four boys were already out at that stage, but the rescue mission for another four and their coach had not yet begun.

If everything goes to plan, by end of the day, no Wild Boars will be left inside the cave.

“You have seen the rain so you might be wondering – preparation for the third operation has been under way since early morning,” said Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation.

He said the first 19 divers involved in today’s operation were sent in around 10.08am, with more to enter gradually throughout the day.

Torrential rain overnight had not affected conditions for the rescue, he said, it was hoped the rescue could proceed even faster than yesterday’s.

“The first day we spent 11 hours, yesterday we spent nine hours, [today] we hope we can do it faster or the same as yesterday.”

“If everything goes right, we will see four kids and a doctor and Seals that have stayed with the kids will all come out,” he said. “Four plus one coach, so it’s five.”

Updated

Final mission under way

Thai authorities have confirmed today’s rescue mission began at 10.08 this morning (local time), with 19 divers going in.

Despite the heavy rain overnight, conditions in the cave haven’t changed much.

Michael Safi reports there was applause in the room as the rescue chief, Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation, announced the four boys and their coach will be brought out in the one mission.

More to come.

Updated

While we wait for confirmation about today’s scheduled rescue mission, Michael Safi has addressed some of the frequent questions we are getting from readers.

Has the rescue started again?

That is unclear so far.

Will all five get out today?

Authorities have said this decision will be made by the diving team. “I cannot answer this question right now,” Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation said on Monday night.

“It’s down to weather conditions and our plan. We’ve set a plan for four but if we want to rescue five, those responsible will have to adjust the plan. We can’t overrule the diving team because it involves safety.”

How are they selecting the boys? The weakest or the strongest?

This question has also been left to divers to decide, specifically the medics on the team. The only hint Osatanakorn has given as to the criteria of selection boys is a comment he made at Monday’s morning press conference.

Asked which boys would be extracted that day, he replied: “The perfect ones, the most ready ones.”

He also said the boys freed on Monday were in “better condition” than those removed the day before – make of that what you will. Based on information from the health authorities, we can be pretty certain that the youngest boy – aged just 11 – and the 25-year-old coach remain in the cave.

“When [the first four] arrived, they went through all necessary health checks include blood tests, lung X-rays, heart, eye and mental tests,” said Dr Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, from the Thai ministry of public health.

The boys were set up with IV drips and antibiotics and given vaccines for tetanus and rabies.

“When the first group came, their temperatures were low,” he said. “Two of them showed irregularities in their lungs. One had a wound on the right ankle.

“[But] now they have no fever and can do their normal activities,” he said.

“For the second lot of patients arriving last night,whose ages range from 12-14, they arrived with very low body temperature, and one of them had a low heart rate,” he said.

“Doctors have treated the boys and now all of them are okay and cheerful. They talk normally. No fever. We’ve started giving them “medical food” this morning.”

The boys will miss the World Cup. Doctors have said they will spend at least seven days in hospital being treated after their ordeal, which means they won’t be able to take up the offer from the president of Fifa to attend the match in Russia next week.

According to a preliminary health check on the first four boys conducted yesterday, two had minor lung infections and one had a fever, doctors said.

Both were treated with antibiotics and were healthy enough to be joking around by the evening.

The boys have seen their parents through glass, but not yet been able to touch or hug them. The hospital hopes they can have a conversation with each other over the phone today.

The boys are still wearing sunglasses as a precaution after spending two weeks in total darkness.

Their diet has been upgraded from diluted porridge: they are now allowed bread and chocolate, their two requests on Tuesday morning. The doctors have emphasised that all are safe and healthy.

We’ll have further details about the boys’ medical conditions shortly, from our reporters in Thailand. Michael Safi reports doctors are setting up a phone line so the boys in hospital can speak with their parents.

From the information given by health officials, we are getting a clearer idea of who is out of the cave.

It would appear the youngest child, Chanin Wiboonrunreung, and the coach, Ekaphol Chantawong, are still inside.

The first four boys to be rescued have now seen their parents, and the other four will likely see their parents today, Michael Safi is reporting from the scene.

The reunification was from a distance however – the boys are in hospital and only saw their parents through glass.

Health officials have in the last few minutes provided an update on the state of the boys. The boys are generally health and safe, doctors said, but two are receiving treatment for “minor” lung infections.

It will be at least seven days before they are discharged from hospital.

The Australian foreign minister has flagged official recognition of the Australians assisting with the rescue effort once it is all over.

Julie Bishop said on Tuesday the workers’ priorities were on the rescue, but once their “extraordinary” work was over there would be thanks given.

“I am very proud that the Australian team have been able to play such an important and critical role in the rescue,” said Bishop.

“Dr (Richard) Harris, for a start, has been intimately involved in the health assessment of the boys.

“Our Australian Federal Police divers have been part of the daisy chain of rescuers. The Navy clearance divers have also been involved and we have crisis response teams on the ground.”

Dr Harris went into the cave to medically assess the boys ahead of the dangerous rescue dives.

Bishop said the Australian team – which included personnel from the Bangkok embassy – were working under the guidance of the Thai government and Thai Royal Navy. There were also several rescue teams from other countries, including the US, China, and Great Britain.

Last night, Gen Buncha Duriyaphan, an army commander involved in this rescue operation, said he had been asking the god of rain for three days’ reprieve to get the boys out.

They appear to have been granted two.

Rain has bucketed down on Mae Sai all night and continues to fall this morning in torrential quantities.

The extraordinary rescues of the past two days have been predicated on “perfect” conditions, including weather and water levels in the cave, authorities have said.

It is unclear if this downpour on Tuesday will complicate today’s mission. We are talking to sources at the cave site and hope to learn more soon.

There are reports that the Chiang Rai city hospital will provide an update shortly on the health of the eight boys already freed.

In the meantime here are some numbers, put together by the Australian Associated Press (and so are a bit Australia-focussed but I’ll work on getting some stats about other countries’ involvement):

  • 12 boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach entered the Tham Luan Nang Non cave on June 23.
  • It was 10 days before they were found.
  • To escape, they have to negotiate about 3.2km of dark, narrow passages by swimming and using scuba equipment and wading.
  • It’s an 11-hour round trip to get in and out but divers have been doing it more quickly because many parts of the route are now drained.
  • Divers need up to 20 hours to lay air tanks and prepare the route.
  • So far there’s been one fatality – former Thai navy Seal Saman Kunan died while placing air tanks along the route.
  • There are 18 divers, five Thai and 13 foreigners, including Australians taking part in the delicate operation.
  • The number of Australians helping with the rescue operation varies depending on rotations, but up to 19 are involved.
  • The group includes six Australian Federal Police divers supporting the Thai Navy, together with a liaison officer and interpreter and Dr Richard Harris, a specialist in hyperbaric medicine.
  • A 100-strong support team is pumping out litres of water to stop more flooding in the caves.
  • Four boys were taken out on Sunday in 11 hours.
  • Four boys were taken out on Monday in nine hours.

Eight young members of the Wild Boars football team have been rescued after more than two-and-a-half weeks trapped in a cave in northern Thailand. In the second day of the long, complicated and high-stakes rescue missions, a second group of four boys emerged on Monday.

“We are so happy that today we could rescue another four kids,” Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation, announced at a press briefing on Monday evening.

All four were airlifted to a hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai. “Now they are fine,” he said.

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

Authorities would not make any guarantees, but the next operation is scheduled to begin at 4pm local time.

We’ll bring you updates as the mission progresses. In the meantime read our latest full report from South Asia correspondent, Michael Safi, who is at Mae Sai.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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Thailand cave rescue: all 12 boys and coach successfully rescued – live | NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).