4 Youth Soccer Players Rescued From Thailand Cave

At least 4 rescued from Thailand cave as rescue operation underway
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Four members of a youth soccer team in Thailand have been rescued from a cave after being trapped there for more than two weeks, reports Reuters and the Associated Press.

The rescue operation started on Saturday for the boys, the youngest who is 11 years old, and their 25–year–old coach.

The coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, apologized to the boys’ parents.

“To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care. I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible. I want to say thanks for all the support and I want to apologize to the parents,” he wrote.

The boys were trapped in the cave when they went exploring on June 23, but any attempts at a rescue were threatened when a monsoon blocked their escape. It took rescuers almost a week and a half to find the boys and their coach.

The trapped have been receiving food, oxygen, water and medicine to help keep their alive during the ordeal. A former Thai navy SEAL tried to get to the boys on Friday, but died after making the dive into the cave.

“Divers will work with doctors in the cave to examine each the kids’ health to determine who should get to come out first,” Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said.

Narongsak said the rescue team consisted of 13 foreign and five Thai divers, with two divers each would extract each boy out of the cave.

Divers escorted the boys out of the flooded cave, and officials said that the rescue efforts for all 13 boys could last up to four days.

Reuters reports that a helicopter was seen flying some of the rescued boys to the city of Chiang Rai where they were being taken to the hospital by ambulance.