BREAKING NEWS Jury reaches verdict at trial over George Floyd's death Full Story

See moment divers reach teens trapped in cave

Rescue teams have found all 12 boys and their soccer coach alive in a cave in Thailand nine days after the group went missing, according to a high-ranking person involved in the search and rescue operation.

Posted: Jul 3, 2018 2:46 PM
Updated: Jul 3, 2018 3:00 PM

Rescue teams have found all 12 boys and their soccer coach alive in a cave in Thailand nine days after the group went missing.

The boys, aged between 11 and 16 years old and are all members of the Wild Boar soccer team, entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system on Saturday, June 23, for a team outing, but became stranded in the dark tunnels by a sudden and continuous downpour.

The international rescue operation -- which includes the Thai Navy SEALs as well as experts from the US, China, Australia and the UK -- had been working to reach a large, deep chamber, informally known as Pattaya Beach, where the missing boys were believed to have taken refuge.

"I confirm they are all safe," Narongsak Osottanakorn, governor of the local region Chiang Rai, told reporters on Monday night.

Osottanakorn said the rescuers had reached Pattaya Beach but found it was flooded. The Thai Navy SEAL divers continued a further 300 to 400 meters where they located the team.

The Thai Navy released a video on Facebook apparently showing the moment the group were found. In the almost 5-minute clip, the boys are illuminated by torchlight while a diver can be heard speaking to them.

"How many of you?" one of the rescuers calls out in English, before a faint "Thirteen!" is heard in response.

"Thirteen? Brilliant!" the rescuer says, before continuing: "We are coming, it's OK, many people are coming ... we are the first."

The rescuer tells them: "You are very strong, very strong."

Amid the emotional discovery, Governor Osottanakorn warned that the mission is "not done yet" and a medical team needs to enter the cave network to assess the boys.

"We will drain all water out from the cave then we will take all 13 people out of the cave. We are now planning how to send (a) nurse and doctor inside the cave to check their health and movement. We will work all night," Osottanakorn said.

Next phase of rescue

In Thailand, the search efforts have captured the public's attention with wall-to-wall media coverage as many waited with bated breath for a positive outcome.

Outside the cave system, there were exhausted but jubilant scenes on Monday night. Families -- many of whom have maintained a constant vigil since the team went missing -- could be seen cheering the good news on a live feed from the Facebook page of the Chiang Rai provincial Public Relations Department.

Tim Newton, a journalist based in Phuket, told CNN getting the team out of the cave will be the next challenge and that it will take time.

"Now they've got to try and figure out how to get these 13 very weak footballers out of the caves and that is going to be an enormous task," Newton said.

"They've got some medical doctors who are also divers, who are ready to get into the caves. They clearly want to stabilize the boys before they try and bring them out.

"There is some talk they may try to bring them out as early as tomorrow but the most important thing is try and stabilize them," he added.

Pat Moret, a rescue consultant, added the team will likely need a lot of medical treatment before they can be moved.

"They'll need fluids replacing (and) possibly feeding. They're going to need reheating. They've possibly been lying still for days now. And sensory faculties won't be what they should be. So I would think that they're not really fit to move for maybe 12 hours or so really."

Even after that, the kids and their coach may need to dive to get out of the cave, Moret added.

"Worst case scenario is that they have to dive them out. So they're being fully immersed in water, wearing what we know is a full face mask or maybe even some sort of commercial dive helmet to make it a little less stressful for them. But it will be a truly terrifying experience," Moret said.

A park officer first sounded the alarm after spotting the boys' bicycles near the entrance to the off-limits cave complex.

The cave labyrinth is popular with tourists and for the first kilometer (0.6 miles) or so inside the cavernous entrance, limestone rock formations, huge high ceilings, creating an almost amphitheater-like atmosphere.

Late last week trekkers discovered a hidden opening deep in the jungle giving an alternative point of entry to the cave system.

The natural chimney, around 1.5 meters in diameter and at least 22 meters (72 feet) deep, was found to the north of the opening of the cave.

Update: The spelling of the Chiang Rai Governor's name has been updated to reflect the latest information from the province's Public Relations Department.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 71°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 74°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 70°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 72°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 69°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522512

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson755371494
Mobile39129799
Madison34124500
Tuscaloosa25408444
Montgomery24059573
Shelby23225242
Baldwin20730302
Lee15638166
Calhoun14358311
Morgan14171273
Etowah13705348
Marshall12012220
Houston10416279
Elmore10024203
Limestone9862148
Cullman9509191
St. Clair9486236
Lauderdale9280233
DeKalb8762183
Talladega8127173
Walker7151276
Autauga6763106
Jackson6762110
Blount6532133
Colbert6236132
Coffee5436113
Dale4781111
Russell431239
Franklin421382
Chilton4130110
Covington4069115
Tallapoosa3922148
Escambia390374
Dallas3528150
Chambers3519122
Clarke347360
Marion3076100
Pike306676
Lawrence296395
Winston273272
Bibb256761
Marengo248561
Geneva246475
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213268
Fayette209660
Henry188444
Cherokee182744
Randolph177841
Monroe173140
Washington165538
Macon156548
Clay150255
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne147041
Lamar140034
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock122040
Conecuh109728
Perry107726
Sumter103332
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 835842

Reported Deaths: 12081
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby930851587
Davidson88030924
Knox49813624
Hamilton43402485
Rutherford42319420
Williamson27545216
Sumner23492341
Montgomery19623224
Wilson18472229
Out of TN1803295
Unassigned16760132
Sullivan16184287
Blount15180194
Bradley14599147
Washington14177242
Maury13211169
Sevier13166175
Putnam11168173
Madison10789241
Robertson9607130
Anderson8627171
Hamblen8498171
Greene7739152
Tipton7226104
Coffee6831121
Dickson6734109
Cumberland6568127
Carter6468156
Bedford6426129
Gibson6402144
McMinn636597
Roane6191102
Jefferson6073121
Loudon601669
Lawrence580686
Hawkins5781106
Monroe570995
Warren551381
Dyer5361104
Franklin508688
Fayette492178
Obion450296
Cheatham444454
Cocke443798
Rhea431275
Lincoln430663
Marshall411158
Campbell409662
Weakley402862
Giles395399
Henderson372975
Macon358077
Carroll357582
White354868
Hardin349766
Hardeman346464
Lauderdale314444
Henry312475
Marion309946
Claiborne306273
Scott305545
Overton296961
Wayne294334
Hickman280546
McNairy276854
DeKalb275653
Smith274838
Haywood268361
Grainger259149
Trousdale249022
Morgan246039
Fentress238546
Johnson231638
Bledsoe209711
Chester209451
Crockett201048
Polk200024
Unicoi194549
Cannon188931
Union186034
Grundy177933
Humphreys174221
Lake169526
Sequatchie166728
Benton163240
Decatur157338
Lewis155826
Meigs134823
Stewart130828
Jackson129935
Clay109031
Houston108533
Perry105728
Moore100017
Van Buren83421
Pickett75624
Hancock54912

Community Events