Thai PM thanks people involved in cave rescue

Thailand Ministry of Public Health

"We did something no-one else thought was possible", he said as he thanked the Thai and worldwide rescue team. "All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave", the Seals said, referring to the name of the boys' football team. The Chaing Rai regional governor said he is unsure if they will be able to rescue the five remaining people in the cave in one mission.

The Facebook announcement today signaled that the last four of the boys and the 25-year-old coach had been rescued Tuesday, joining the eight boys who had been delivered to safety Sunday and Monday.

The 53-year-old gave up a family holiday and made his way to Northern Thailand, where he scuba dived 4km through cold, dark and narrow passages to reach the boys and assessed them as medically fit to attempt the risky escape mission.

Onlookers at the junction in front of Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital watch and cheer as ambulances transport the last rescued schoolboys and their coach from a helipad nearby to Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital on July 10, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

A Google search on Tuesday for the words "Thai cave rescue" revealed 359 million results, with interest peaking since last week when British divers found the boys and the rescue mission began.

The dozen players - aged 11 to 16 - and the coach had already received an invitation from Federation Internationale de Football Association chief Gianni Infantino last week to attend the World Cup final on Sunday in Moscow - although after their traumatic experience they may not be up to the trip physically or mentally.

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The news was greeted by global jubilation and the rescue workers were lauded. Another four emerged Monday.

"The 13 must have taken cared of each other very well [inside the cave]", Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong said. "In a world where we sometimes honour people for the most meaningless reasons, surely it's time we recognised a real-life hero like Richard Harris".

While it's a shame the boys can't make the World Cup final, the soccer world is looking out for the Wild Boars. Some cross the border each day to go to school, a routine that Wassana Saebaew, one of their classmates, knows well. Six of the 12 boys on the soccer team attend her school. All they wanted to talk about was whether there were any updates about the team. The rescued boys had not been identified out of respect for the families whose sons were still trapped, officials had said. Thai authorities have said the boys have stayed "good and happy". I'd like to send out shirts to them!

The daring mission to save 12 Thai boys and their football coach from the Tham Luang cave could have ended in disaster after water pumps draining the area failed while rescuers were still inside, a few hours after the children's team had been evacuated.

Officials on Tuesday echoed expert comment on Musk's proposed technology to help save the boys.

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