Missing 13 found safe in Thai cave but rescue 'not over'

Missing 12 boys and their football team coach are found ALIVE in a cave

- "I believe they won't abandon each other", he told media outlets.

"Thank you so much", one of the boys said, according to the video.

The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their coach, went missing on 23 June when they went exploring inside the sprawling cave complex that became flooded by rainwater.

Rescue operations run around the clock but it is a race against time as rains continue to fall.

Their ill-health "significantly compromises the rescue effort", he says.

"I found out from the television".

He said: "Vernon [Unsworth, a caver who lives in Chiang Rai], who has explored the far end of [this section of the] cave, knows that there is a high chamber and it's unlikely - very unlikely, but we have to rule out all possibilities - that the children could have got to that chamber".

Rescue teams are now evaluating how best to get the boys out of the caves.

Thai provincial governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said that the group is safe and being rescued after a massive search operation took place in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province, located in the northern part of the country. "So I would think that they're not really fit to move for maybe 12 hours or so really".

Family members of the missing hugged each other as they cheered the news of the discovery.

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Then the heavy rains started and water likely rushed in through the cave's main entrance while simultaneously seeping through porous limestone walls.

Rescuers located 12 boys and their soccer coach alive deep inside a partially flooded cave in northern Thailand late Monday, more than a week after they went missing, bringing hope in a desperate search that has attracted global help and captivated the nation.

Scores of divers - including foreign experts - were sent into the cave with hundreds of oxygen tanks, establishing a base camp inside the chambers over the weekend.

"Meanwhile, the navy deployed 20 more [SEAL] divers to the site, increasing their numbers to 84".

Distraught relatives are keeping vigil, with prayers led by a Buddhist monk, near the cave complex mouth. We have to wait for the water level to decline.

They are believed to have walked several kilometres into the winding network of passageways to an elevated, airy sandbank called "Pattaya Beach".

Mr Narongsak said the passageway the divers were making their way through goes upwards in some places and downwards in others and is extremely narrow, making it hard for divers to fit through with all their gear.

Loved ones, friends and teachers of the "Wild Boar" football team refused to give up hope of seeing the young players again.

The Moo Pa Academy team's belongings, including bicycles, backpacks and football cleats, were found just outside the entrance of the flooded cave complex in Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district, where they had gone for a sightseeing trip.

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