The three-day-long elaborate rescue operation to save the lives of 12 boys and their football coach ended in complete success on Tuesday evening as all of them were evacuated from the serpentine flooded cave in Thailand on Tuesday.
The Thai Navy SEALs broke this news in a Facebook post, adding they were “safe”. “All 12 ‘Wild Boars’ and coach have been extracted from the cave,” the post said, adding “all are safe” and signing off with a simple “Hooyah”.
Four divers who stayed with the group were still to emerge, the post added.
Members of the ‘Wild Boars’ football team all in the age-group of 12-16 years and their coach got trapped in the Tham Luang cave complex system in Chiang Rai region on June 23 following heavy seasonal rains.
After rescuing eight boys, former Chiang Rai governor and rescue mission commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn said on Monday night that it would take 20 hours to prepare for the third operation, but he cautioned timings could change depending on weather and water levels.
After they were found on July 2, officials had cautioned it could take some time to get them out, but authorities decided to act with heavy rains forecast to hit the region.
The cave complex is regularly flooded during the monsoon season which lasts until September or October.