MAE SAI, Thailand (CBSNewYork) — Four members of a youth soccer team have been rescued after spending more than two weeks trapped in a cave in Thailand, Thai navy SEALs said.
A team of divers helped the young boys navigate a treacherous path out of the cave. They were rushed to a hospital in Thailand, but are said to be healthy.
As the rescue mission was temporarily suspended while teams restocked on supplies, crews made preparations to free the remaining eight boys and their 25-year-old coach.
Officials say the boys, ages 11 to 16, have been instructed on how to use diving equipment and are aware of the dangers maneuvering through dangerous, dark, and narrow tunnels.
“Think about the responsibility of taking a kid under or beneath there and the conditions are really scary,” rescuer Rafael Aroush said.
Enough water has been pumped out of the cave that the boys will be able to walk through much of the escape route, but the team may have to swim underwater for periods. There are also concerns that potential heavy rains could flood the passageways once again.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump said in a tweet that “The U.S. is working very closely with the Government of Thailand to help get all of the children out of the cave and to safety. Very brave and talented people!”
As oxygen levels continued to drop in the cave, the next crew of divers was rushing to replenish supplies and refill air tanks to go back for the remainder of the team.
A former Thai navy SEAL died on Friday after passing out underwater while delivery oxygen tanks inside the cave. Three workers were injured in a fall at the site on Saturday.