Thai caves: 9th boy saved on day 3 of Tham Luang rescue

Thailand Cave Search

This now brings the total number of rescued boys to eight.

The four were the first of the 13 Mu Pa team members who were evacuated from the cave since they became trapped on June 23.

Osatanakorn said officials did not want to waste time because of intensifying rain that could halt rescue efforts.

The first boy to emerge Monday was seen on a stretcher just before 4:30 p.m. local time (5:30 a.m. ET).

Jesada Chokdumrongsuk said that the boys are "healthy and smiling", he added: "the kids are footballers so they have high immune systems".

The first eight boys rescued from a Thai cave are in good mental and physical health and are asking for chocolate, officials said Tuesday, although two were on antibiotics after being tested for pneumonia.

Having completed this section, the boys are then handed over to separate, specialist rescue teams, who help assist them through the remainder of the cave, much of which they can wade through.

Two of the rescued were reported to be battling a lung infection, although the boys were reported to be "cheerful" by medical professionals. He said experience gained during the successful extractions in the preceding two days would allow them to work faster and more efficiently. As of this midday Monday, eight of the 12 boys had been rescued, and operations were ongoing.

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Family members have seen at least some of the boys from behind a glass isolation barrier, and Jesada said doctors may let the boys walk around their beds Tuesday. The distance from where the crew is trapped to the main entrance is about a half a mile, and the boys had to travel most of that distance underwater to reach freedom.

Operations to pump water out of the cave went on despite heavy rain showers on Sunday and Monday.

After divers brought out four of the boys Monday evening, authorities indicated the rescue operation would continue for a third day.

Fresh rains on Tuesday added urgency to the final stages of the treacherous rescue bid, several kilometres inside a mountain and through flooded, tight corridors. The rescued boys are in quarantine, BBC News reports. Four boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach remain deep in the cave, an ordeal that has lasted more than two weeks after they were trapped inside by floods.

American billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk tweeted Monday that he had visited the cave and left behind a mini-sub rescue vehicle "in case it may be useful in the future".

Musk posted videos and photos of divers testing out the submarine in a Los Angeles pool.

As an global coalition of divers continued to rescue a Thai soccer team and their coach from a cave Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was trying to help in his own inimitable way. As with the previous rescue efforts, 19 divers have gone into the cave, with two divers escorting each of the boys out of the cave with tethers. Four boys and the coach are still deep inside, and authorities have indicated they're continuing with their so-far successful effort to bring the boys out guided by experienced divers.

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