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6 boys safely rescued from flooded Thai cave as operation underway
09 July 2018, 06:20 | Darnell Patrick
GettyElon Musk is building a tiny kid-size submarine to help the Thai soccer team
Divers were assigned at 10 a.m. local time, and the rescue will start as soon as possible, officials said. As of Sunday evening local time, four boys had been successfully removed from the cave.
Four boys rescued from Thai cave.
Dubbed "D-day" by the rescue team leader, the divers entered the wide cave mouth on Sunday morning to begin extracting the boys, accompanied by a whole contingent of emergency workers. This caused the rescue mission to be expedited.
Cave divers in Thailand are poised to restart the high-risk operation to extract the remaining eight boys and their football coach from a vast flooded cave system.
The rescue mission has concluded for the night.
"If, as we all hope, they are reunited with their families in the coming days and their health allows them to travel, Federation Internationale de Football Association would be delighted to invite them to attend the 2018 World Cup final in Moscow as our guests".
She said members of the 353rd U.S. Special Operations Group and U.S. military pararescue teams, survival specialists, divers and medical personnel are on the ground in support of the Thai-led worldwide rescue effort.
Elon Musk's Space X rocket company tested a "tiny kid-sized submarine" that could potentially help the children through the narrow, flooded cave passageways.
Wearing full-face masks, the youngsters swam - for the first time in their lives - through miles of mud-clogged underwater tunnels which claimed the life of an elite Thai navy diver on Friday.
Media was cleared away from the rescue site on Sunday morning.
It was unclear who was inside the ambulances or the helicopter.
"Today we managed to rescue and send back four children to Chiang Rai Prachanukrua Hospital safely".
The only way to bring the boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach out of Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province is by navigating dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents, as well as oxygen-depleted air. The other boys have not been identified yet.
He told reporters the four rescued boys were taken to the hospital in the town of Chiang Rai, the provincial capital, for evaluation, and the next phase of the operation will resume after about 10-20 hours.
The entire nation is glued to the media coverage of the rescue mission, and Thai authorities have insisted they will not compromise on the safety of the trapped group.
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 unsafe, dark, and narrow tunnels.
"Now and in the next three or four days, the conditions are ideal [for evacuation] in terms of the water, the weather and the boys' health", Narongsak in a press conference on Sunday.
"It is an extremely risky undertaking", Bill Whitehouse, vice chairman of the British Cave Rescue Council, told AFP, adding "poor visibility in the water, tortuous passages to get through, constrictions" were some of the major obstacles divers face.
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The last time England reached the semis was in 1990 in Italy, when it lost out to Germany in a penalty shootout. We have got to keep on improving as staff and as players. "It's going to be hard ", he said.