An evacuation helicopter and an ambulance are seen in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province, Thailand, July 10, 2018. All 12 boys and their football coach have been rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand after being trapped for 18 days, Thai navy SEALs confirmed on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Rachen Sageamsak)
CHIANG RAI, Thailand, July 10 (Xinhua) -- All 12 boys and their football coach have been rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand after being trapped for 18 days, Thai navy SEALs confirmed on Tuesday.
The coach was one of the last to be extricated from the cave.
The 12 young footballers, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach went missing in Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand's Chiang Rai Province since June 23.
They were found on July 2 after the search, joined by more than 1,000 rescuers, entered the ninth day.
Thirteen foreign cave diving experts and five Thai navy rescuers joined the first operation on Sunday that brought out four boys from the cave. Rescuers spent about 11 hours on the mission. Another four boys were extrated by the same team on Monday.
The remaining four boys and their coach were rescued on Tuesday and were sent to hospital by helicopters.
After the successful and perilous rescue mission, it would take some time for the divers of the rescue team to evacuate from the cave. After their evacuation, the cave would be closed, according to Thai rescue operation officials.
The eight boys extracted on Sunday and Monday were being treated in hospital and were in good condition, according to hospital sources.
Chinese volunteer divers who joined the rescue mission called it a "tremendous and very dangerous operation."