Final Rescue Mission For Trapped Thai Boys' Football Team Is Underway

Ekkapol Chantawong and some of the boys who come from stateless families in the border region

The search operation quickly turned into a rescue mission involving 90 divers - 50 foreign and 40 Thai - though some warned it could take months.

The "Wild Boars" soccer team and their coach got trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the vast cave complex after soccer practice, when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels.

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Another four were rescued on Monday and the last four boys and the coach were brought out on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the final members of the team were brought out to complete the rescue, and the news has been welcomed across soccer.

19 divers are said to be involved in the operation, which began at just after 10:00am local time. United States military personnel also helped.

Underscoring the danger behind the mission, Ivan Karadzic said, "They are diving in something considered an extremely hazardous environment".

Scott and co-producer Adam Smith have reportedly been conducting interviews around the rescue site, where more than 1,000 Thai personnel have been joined by dozens of worldwide specialists for the operation. 1 NEWS' Correspondent Kimberlee Downs has the latest from Chiang Rai, Thailand. The rescue effort is slowed somewhat by the fact that the team must replenish supplies and oxygen tanks that line the 2.5-mile route out of the cave.

Another four were rescued on Monday and the last four boys and the coach were brought out on Tuesday.

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Four divers who stayed with the group were still to emerge.

.

Despite the heavy rain that fell the night before the third and final rescue, the water levels didn't rise, which meant it was possible for the boys and their coach to walk and wade through a longer distance underground.

Federation Internationale de Football Association has invited the team to attend the World Cup final on Sunday, but doctors have said they would need to stay in hospital for at least a week to ensure they are in good health.

Two of the boys are thought to have lung infections, but there are no serious complaints to report. "I can not understand how cool these small kids are". The rescue mission took the life of 38-year-old volunteer Saman Gunan last Friday, a former Navy SEAL who died underwater after running out of air.

"We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what".

The complex effort to get the "Wild Boars" out of the Tham Luang cave ended on Tuesday in success after meticulous planning, cooperation and no small amount of luck. Some cross the border each day to go to school, a routine that Wassana Saebaew, one of their classmates, knows well.

A handwritten note by one of the children trapped in a cave in Mae Sai, Thailand.

Another four boys were rescued Monday.

Rescuers had spent days balancing the risk of impending monsoons, which could have flooded the cave again, against the boys' readiness, weakened as they were by their ordeal. "We can see that everything is ok as they're eating well", he said.

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