NATIONAL: Thai cave rescue successful as all 12 boys and coach saved 

All 12 boys have been rescued from Thai cave. Picture: AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit
All 12 boys have been rescued from Thai cave. Picture: AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit
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A Thai football team has been safely rescued from a cave,  Navy Seals have confirmed. 

A major rescue operation was launched after the 12 boys and their coach were found trapped inside a cave in Thailand. 

The team had been stuck for almost three weeks and the rescue mission has captivated the world.  

The boys and their coach went exploring in the massive Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 23 after football practice, and were cut off when a rainstorm flooded the cave.

A massive international search operation was launched and it took 10 days to locate the boys, who had taken shelter on a dry slope deep in the complex.

Over the past three days divers have been rescuing the malnourished boys, some of home couldn’t swim. 

The remaining four boys and coach were rescued on Tuesday, after other rescues in the previous two days.

Speaking earlier today Jesada Chokdumrongsuk, deputy director-general of the Public Health Ministry, said that the first four boys rescued, aged 12 to 16, are now able to eat normal food.

He said two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally ‘healthy and smiling'.

He said: ‘The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems’.

The Seals said they are still waiting for a medic and three navy Seals who stayed with the boys to emerge from the cave.

Seven divers in the rescue team were from the UK, including Rick Stanton and John Volanthen, who were the first to reach the group last week.

One of the divers involved in the rescue team died last week after running out of oxygen. . The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place air canisters along the passage to where the boys are, necessary for divers to safely travel the five- to six-hour route.

Workers have been labouring round the clock to pump water out of the cave.