First boys emerge from cave

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Two ambulances were seen leaving a cave in northern Thailand on Sunday evening where 12 young footballers and their coach have been trapped for more than two weeks, hours after an operation began to rescue them.

The dramatic and risky rescue at the Tham Luang cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai was launched on Sunday and four boys were brought out that day.

Rescued schoolboys are moved from a military helicopter to an awaiting ambulance at a military airport in Chiang Rai, Thailand, July 9, 2018. The pause will give divers time to prepare gear, including masks and refilling air tanks, for the next round of rescue efforts.

The rescue got off to a good start, with the first boy coming out at 5.40pm local time (11.40am United Kingdom time).

To make matters worse, rescuers are facing a "war with water and time" as risky monsoon storms and torrential rainfall could derail the mission.

But the success of the initial evacuation raised hopes that all will be out soon, although officials said could it take up to four days to complete.

The announcement of USA government involvement was sudden and this tweet is looked at as Trump's first public comment on the rescue mission.

In anticipation of this back-up plan, the British Cave Rescue Council received a further request from the Thai government to send additional expert cave divers, the BCRC statement said.

According to a report in NDTV, there is a possibility that the heavy rainfall can flood the cave complex in mountainous northern Thailand, which has been also emerged as one of the enemies during the rescue operation. He said that process can take several hours.

The next phase of the operation to rescue the remaining eight players and their coach will begin in 10 to 20 hours, commanders said, giving operators time to replenish supplies and evaluate the rescue plan and weather.

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The cave system, in a limestone mountain range bordering Myanmar in northern Thailand, has proven to be a formidable challenge for the global rescue coalition, drawing some of the world's best divers who have volunteered to help in the operation alongside Thai Navy Seals.

Rescue officials said yesterday was the best day to attempt the escape because water levels at many areas inside the cave were at their lowest in 10 days, rendering most of the escape route "walkable".

An Australian doctor with cave diving experience examined the boys on Sunday and declared them fit for the operation.

Officials say the quickest time that the boys could be brought out of the cave is 9pm local time (3pm United Kingdom time) on Sunday, and the mission could take up to four days.

"All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave", the Navy SEAL unit, which led the rescue, said on its Facebook page, adding all were safe.

On Saturday, Musk tweeted that he was interested in designing "a tiny, kid-sized submarine" that would be "light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps".

After a short deluge of rain on Saturday night and with more bad weather forecast, Narongsak on Sunday said authorities had to act immediately. "Based on the complexity and difficulty of the cave environment it is unknown how long it might take and how many children would exit the cave".

Provincial Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn said the mission was a 'race against the water'. We will have to do the next mission as successfully as the one we did today.

In one, Pheerapat, nicknamed "Night", whose 16th birthday the group were celebrating in the cave when they became stuck on June 23, said: "I love you, Dad, Mum and my sister".

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