'Hooyah!' Tears flow, horns honk after Thai cave boys rescued

Narongsak promises last 5 survivors to be extracted faster tomorrow

The flooded nature of the caves means that parts of the route of the dive are particularly risky, not only to the young boys, but also to the experienced divers, one of whom died last week while transporting oxygen tanks to the cave. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the cave to inspect the rescue operation, with navy rescuers giving him a rousing cheer.

He also thanked the King and the Royal family for extending their support during times of crisis, like these.

PM Prayut took a moment to pay his tributes to former Thai Navy Seal Diver Petty Officer First Class Saman Kunan, who volunteered and lost his life during the mission.

"His honour, sacrifice and legacy will always be in our hearts", added Prayut.

Rescue operations commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn announced the successful extraction of four more "Wild Boars" soccer team members out of the Tham Luang cave and expressed confidence that rescuers would be able to bring to safety the last batch of five survivors tomorrow faster than they did in the past two days.

They were found on July 2 by British divers after being stuck in a deep chamber in the cave system, dubbed as "Pattaya Beach", for nine days.

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"If nothing goes wrong the remaining boys, the doctor (a Thai Navy Seal medic) and the three (Thai) Navy Seals who have staying with the boys since the beginning of the mission will come out this evening". "Such a handsome moment - all freed, great job!" Officials said late Sunday they'd need to pause the operation for at least 10 hours to fill oxygen tanks that had been depleted during the first phase of the mission.

All are being treated in a Chiang Rai hospital in an isolation ward.

The rescue chief said Tuesday's intricate and high-risk operation began just after 10am and involves 19 divers.

Thailand's health ministry permanent secretary Jesada Chokdamrongsuk told reporters that the first eight boys rescued from the cave complex are generally in good health and had asked for chocolate bread for breakfast.

Rescue crews in Thailand are working against the clock and Mother Nature to free the remaining boys who have been trapped inside a cave with their adult soccer coach for more than two weeks.

Two more boys reportedly left the cave complex a short time later and were transferred to a medical facility on site, followed soon after by a fourth boy, says an eyewitness stationed at the entrance to the cave. On Sunday, divers held the first four boys close to bring them out, and each had to wear an oxygen mask to enable normal breathing, authorities said.

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