'Don't blame yourself,' parent of trapped Thai youth writes to boys' coach

Former navy diver dies during Thailand cave rescue effort

The rescue started at 10 am Thai time and involved 13 global divers and five Thai navy seals, who were described by Governor Narongsak as "an all-star team", reports the Daily Mail.

The 12 boys and their coach were exploring the cave when they became trapped by flood waters on 23 June. The rising water filled large stretches of the cave, cutting off the team's escape route and keeping rescuers from finding the team for 10 days, CBS News noted.

"Today is D-Day", Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the rescue mission, told reporters.

The co-ordinator of the rescue efforts said rescuers were still in a "war with water and time" and conditions in the following three or four days would be most ideal for the rescue.

Rescuers have suggested that it may take up to two days for the rescue to be completed, with each boy being brought out individually.

He said 13 ambulances and multiple helicopters are ready to transport the boys and their coach to hospitals.

"Everyone who is not involved with the operations has to get out of the area immediately", police announced via loudspeaker at the site on Sunday morning, an Agence France-Presse report said. He said his native province Chiang Rai has hills and caves.

U.S. technology tycoon Elon Musk said on Twitter that his team is working on a "tiny, kid-size submarine" to carry the boys out of the caves.

More news: 92-year-old woman son and killed son

To make matters worse, rescuers are facing a "war with water and time" as risky monsoon storms and torrential rainfall could derail the mission.

Four Thai soccer players are the first to be successfully rescued from a flooded cave hours after a complex and risky rescue mission commenced, according to Thai navy SEALS.

The first rescued boys could come at 9pm local time on Sunday.

On Saturday Thai Navy SEALS published touching notes scrawled by the trapped footballers to their families, who had been waiting for them agonisingly close by outside the cave entrance.

That along with dwindling oxygen levels added to the urgency of getting the team out.

Shortly before 2am NZT, the Thai navy SEALs reported on their official Facebook page that four had been rescued.

The identity of the first boys is unknown, as if whether any more are following soon.

"Clearly there is a huge risk of someone panicking if they are not used to the diving environment", Tony Haigh, a spokesman for the British Cave Rescue Council, which had two divers that found the boys, told the Post.

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