Thai authorities on Sunday announced that the operation to rescue the 12 boys and their coach, stranded inside a cave in Chiang Rai, has begun.
The football team will be medically evaluated when they are out of the cave.
Several media reports stated that 13 foreigner and five Thai divers are particiapting in the rescue operation.
In a press release issued about 9pm AEST, Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn issued a brief update:
“The operation began at 10am when 13 international divers entered the cave. Ten of them headed for chamber nine (where the boys are) and chamber six (near the junction) as planned,” he wrote.
“Another three cave divers performed their duty to support diving efforts beginning at 14.00. There are a number of additional rescue personnel including divers, from Thailand, the US, Australia, China and Europe stationed from chamber 3 to the entrance. This includes a rope system to assist over difficult terrain in chambers two and three,” he added.
The international rescue operation team included the Thai Navy SEALs and experts from the US, China, Australia and the UK.
Medical teams will continue to monitor the boys’ health even as they remain trapped inside the cave.
It is estimated that it would take five hours for even experienced divers to cross the four-kilometre stretch, with the UK divers who had first reached the stranded group stating that the dive was “gnarly” and full of tight passages submerged in low-visibility water.
As per the latest reports, four boys among the group have reached the rescue base camp inside the complex on Sunday, the country’s Defence Ministry spokesman told agencies.