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Mission to rescue boys trapped in Thailand cave has begun by Respect Blues

CHIANG RAI, Thailand — A team of divers on Sunday began a rescue operation to try and save 12 boys on a soccer team and their coach from the Thailand cave where they have been trapped for two weeks.
Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn told reporters at a briefing Sunday that the mission to save the 12 boys and their coach from Tham Luang cave began at 10 a.m. local time.
A total of 18 expert divers — 13 international and five Thai — will proceed deep into the hillside through the waterlogged passages to the chamber where the team is located. "One boy will be accompanied by two divers. They will come out of the cave one group at a time," Narongsak said.
The rescue is expected to take hours. Narongsak said the earliest they will come out is 9 p.m. Sunday local time (10 a.m. E.T.).
Narongsak said that conditions inside the cave were the best they could hope for and that water levels were now so low after days of good weather and constant draining that long stretches of the passage were now walk-able.
"Today is the best day for them to come out," he said. "They really wanted to come out now as well. They are ready both mentally and physically."
An Australian medic has been inside the team's chamber and has confirmed that the boys and their coach are ready and willing to make their escape after over two weeks underground. Medical teams have been preparing for the rescue operation for three days and are ready, Narongsak said.
The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their assistant coach were found inside the cave on Monday after nine days underground. They went missing after they set out to explore the cave on June 23.

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