A sense of urgency persists with unpredictable weather and the threat of more rain that could further flood the chambers.
Rescuers know there is nothing leading to the part of the cavern where the boys are now holed up, but there could be an exit deeper inside the cave.
An army spokesman said the return journey into the cave took about 11 hours for the divers – six hours in and five hours to get back out.
Late last night, around 120 million litres of water had been pumped out.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun said in a statement released by the government that the operation could not have been achieved without the unity, dedication and effort of all involved.
More than 1,000 Thai troops have been joined by rescue workers from all over the world at the Tham Luang cave system in Chiang Rai as authorities consider how best to free the team. This way the boys wouldn’t need to learn to swim or dive, and would be able to have their head above water as they exit, nearly allowing them to walk out.
He said that not all 13 may be extracted at the same time depending on their condition.
The boys remain weak after spending days in the darkness, barely moving from the small, muddy ledge, away from the water.
The route to where the Thai boys and their football coach are trapped in the cave.
Thai Navy Seal commander Rear Admiral Arpakorn Yookongkaew said there’s no rush to bring them out as they are safe where they are, adding it would be extremely unsafe to have them dive through the dark, muddy water.
One major challenge will be a “crisis” point marked on the Thai Navy’s map of the cave – an area where rescuers say the cave dips – and debris, mud and water pools, which require constant clearing.
“It would be terrifying”, he said, before adding a rider: “the children are aware of the cave, they know the cave, they have been in the cave very often”.
In both of the videos the boys appeared in good spirits.
The cave was most likely dry when the soccer team entered on June 23, but rushing waters later clogged the way back with mud and debris, rendering numerous exit routes hard to pass through and with zero visibility.
The images have delighted a Thai nation that has held its breath for a successful outcome to a challenging rescue kilometres inside one of the country’s longest caves.
Timing is crucial in the complex rescue mission as heavy storms are soon forecast to arrive, which could make it impossible to evacuate the group for months. Teams are attempting to take in a new one. He said he was “pleased and greatly relieved” that the boys were located.
A rescue team from the United States Indo-Pacific Command has also vowed to support the operations at the Tham Luang cave until all 13 survivors are safely brought out.
The soccer teammates stranded more than a week in a partly flooded cave say they are healthy on a new Thai navy video.
“It’s very narrow. The way divers have to work is not a normal way of diving”.
“What we could bring is a dozen specialists trained for speleological dives using equipment dedicated to this environment who are able to dive in troubled water without any visibility”, Olivier Lanet told Euronews. The governor said water is still being pumped out of the cave “at full speed” to reduce water levels. However, in some deeper in sections of the complex, water still reaches the ceiling of the cave. The traditional reserve of Thai children toward adults broke slightly after a while, and one boy told another in Thai, “Tell them we are hungry”.
Generators are powering water pumps and refilling oxygen tanks for divers at the scene.
“I am concerned as the forecast said is for more rain”.
The 12 boys aged 11-16 and their 25-year-old football coach have been trapped by flooding in Tham Luang cave since June 23. “Me and your mother were waiting for you and we love you”.
“I don’t want anyone [to] blame Ake at all”. He has been a Walkley and Quills finalist on three occasions.