Remaining boys, coach, doctor trapped in Thailand cave 'to be rescued today'

All 12 boys and coach are safely out of the flooded Thai cave

The final phase of the operation begins with the rescue chief saying the remaining four boys and the coach, will be "extracted today" alongside three Thai Navy SEALs and doctor who have stayed with them.

We now know for sure the coach is still in the cave.

The Thai navy SEAL unit, which has been overseeing the rescue, confirmed on its Facebook page that the total number of boys brought out was eight.

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

After pondering for days how to get the 13 out, a rescue operation was launched on Sunday when four of the boys were brought out, tethered to rescue divers.

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.

The optimistic mood was in contrast to the saddened atmosphere at the cave last week, after former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan, 37, died while laying air tanks underground on Thursday. "I want to send my moral support for all involved" in the rest of the mission.

"I remember all of their faces, especially the youngest one". "I'm so happy the children came out safely".

Officials were not immediately available to comment on who had been brought out, and their condition was unclear.

The four boys rescued from a subterranean cave in Thailand on Monday are healthier than those pulled out a day earlier, the rescue mission's commander said.

More news: Roger Federer suffers shock Wimbledon defeat

The 12 boys - ages 11 to 16 - entered the massive cave complex on the frontier of Thailand and Myanmar with their 25-year-old coach on June 23.

The rescue missions take almost half a day to complete.

"Nobody thought we could do it. It was a world first", he said. The power of love.

The hazardous bid to rescue the boys - aged between 11 and 16 - started unexpectedly on Sunday when the rescue team said conditions were ideal for the evacuation.

Dr Jesada said that when the first four arrived they went through all the necessary health checks including blood tests, lung X-rays, heart, eye and mental tests.

The 31cm-wide custom submarine would make the boys passive participants in the rescue and could potentially shorten the journey, which took divers a total of nine hours in the second successful rescue operation on Monday.

Classmates of the trapped boys at Mae Sai Prasitsart school, close to the caves, pray after their teacher announced that more of the footballers had been rescued. It ended with their fighting cheer, adopted from the U.S. Navy: "Hooyah!"

U.S. President Donald Trump hailed the rescue.

"Such a attractive moment - all freed, great job!"

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.

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