Thai officials evacuated media from the Tham Luang cave entrance on the morning of July 8 as medics and divers arrived, signaling the rescue operation for the trapped soccer team was imminent, reported The Guardian.
The boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach have been in the cave since June 23. They were found by rescue divers late on July 2.
Officials have been working diligently to drain the cave’s flooded tunnel system, they’ve cleared just under one mile of the passage, but the journey is an 11-hour round trip for experienced adult divers, reported The Guardian. Rescuers have been teaching the boys how to scuba dive in preparation for the extraction.
“We will still maintain our planned mission and the two main obstacles are time and water,” a Thai spokesperson said at a press conference on July 8.
Governor of Chiang Rai province Narongsak Osottanakorn said the earliest the boys will surface is 9 pm on July 8 (local time), reported The Guardian, who has a correspondent on the ground. Credit: Chatchai Srivit via Storyful