Share this article:
The rescue operation to free a boys' soccer team and their coach stuck in a flooded cave in northern Thailand has come to an end after the successful extraction of the 12 boys and their coach.
Four boys were rescued from the cave as of 7:50 p.m. Sunday, local time (8:50 a.m. EDT), according to the official Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page.
Four additional boys were pulled from the cave on Monday as rescue operations continued into a second day.
On Tuesday afternoon, the final four boys and their coach were rescued from the cave.
The 12 boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach went exploring in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand on June 23. They became trapped after monsoon rain flooded the cave.
Lowering water levels in the cave, which made the passages easier to navigate, as well as the risk for additional monsoon downpours prompted officials to begin efforts to free the team on Sunday, according to NBC News.
Sunday evening's rescue ended just as another downpour moved through the area.
Thai authorities said that the rainfall did not change the water level in the cave, the AP reported.
"Each boy was accompanied by two divers and came out of the cave one group at a time," Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn told reporters.
Detailed forecast for Chiang Rai
Typhoon Maria to threaten lives and property in Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan and eastern China this week
Historic rainfall in Western Japan causes extensive flooding, prompts evacuations
The rainy season in Thailand runs from July through October, elevating the fears that downpours could have further flooded the cave if the rescue was delayed.
The rescue operation was extremely perilous, with divers forced to traverse tight, dark passageways and muddy water. Low oxygen levels inside the cave made the situation even more dangerous.
A former Thai Navy SEAL died after he passed out underwater on an overnight mission and could not be revived, the AP reported on Friday.
The boys practiced wearing diving masks and breathing in preparation for their long journey out of the cave.
After being removed from the cave, the boys were taken to a hospital by ambulance or helicopters.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
Despite NASCAR moving up the start time of the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301, rain has hung on and delayed the race at Loudon, New Hampshire.
Yet another round of severe weather is threatening the southeastern United States to close out this weekend.
The remainder of July will be dominated by a resurgence of heat across the northwestern United States.
An uptick in monsoon rainfall is expected to heighten the flood threat across eastern and northern India this week.
A deadly heat wave is expected to continue into early week across Japan.
Three people are dead after being pulled from the ocean waters along the beaches of North Carolina on Saturday.
This weekend’s rainstorm was only the start of an abnormally wet pattern that will elevate the flood risk in the eastern United States into the end of the month.