BANGKOK – The last remaining member of a soccer team and his coach have been rescued from a cave in northern Thailand, the Thai Navy Seals said on Tuesday.
The two join 11 other members of the Wild Boars soccer team, aged between 11-16, who had already been rescued and were receiving medical treatment at a nearby hospital.
“12 Wild Boars and coach out of the cave. Everyone is safe,” Thailand’s Navy Seals said on Facebook.
“Now waiting for the arrival of four divers,” the statement added, with a celebratory “Hooyah.”
The team and its 26-year-old coach entered the cave on June 23 after a training session, but became trapped after a sudden storm and heavy rain flooded the cave, blocking the exit.
A massive international effort to locate the team and extract them from the caverns was launched, with the first rescue mission beginning on Sunday.
Four of the boys had been successfully extracted by Sunday night.
A second operation on Monday led to the emergence of four more boys, and a third followed on Tuesday to rescue the five remaining members of the team.
Accompanied by divers, the boys were extracted in pairs in hazardous journeys lasting several hours through the partially flooded cave system.
The rescuers and the boys had to dive with zero visibility through a maze of narrow flooded passages to reach the exit of the cave.
Thai public health authorities confirmed on Tuesday the first eight boys rescued were recovering and not suffering from serious health problems.
There has been no official update on the health of the last five people saved.