Thai rescuers locate missing boys and coach alive in cave

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"I confirm they are all safe", Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters on Monday night.

One of the boys is heard to say: 'Eat, eat, eat, tell them we are hungry.' The survivors then ask what day it is, to which one of the divers responds: 'Monday, Monday.

Narongsak said that an operations center has been set up in the third chamber, about 1.7 kilometers (a mile) from entrance to the cave.

The boys, all aged between 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach got trapped by accident, when they chose to explore the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system, popular with tourists.

The British Cave Rescue Council - the representative body for voluntary underground rescue in the British Isles - said the trio arrived in Thailand three days after the football team went into the caves.

The governor added that authorities are also trying to send food into the cave but were unsure if "they can eat it or not because it is nearly 10 days". The divers had to travel kilometres through narrow and twisting caves to reach the boys. "We think them being athletic and strong is something in their favor".

Worldwide experts from the United States, Australia, China and Britain have assisted in the search-and-rescue efforts.

The rescue teams are making preparations for a final push to bring the team and their coach out of the cave.

However, after more than a week of no news and fading hopes, two British divers, part of an worldwide team of rescuers involved in the effort, reached the so-called Pattaya Beach deep-water cave, where the boys and their mentor were holing up, on Monday.

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Rescuers have located 12 boys and their football coach alive deep inside a partially flooded cave in northern Thailand more than a week after they went missing, bringing hope in a desperate search that has attracted global help and captivated the nation.

Classmates of 12 boys trapped in a flooded Thai cave spoke of their hopes for a miracle rescue on Monday (July 2), as divers inched through thick mud and water towards an air pocket where the group is believed to be.

"We found them safe".

But a leading American cave rescue expert says many challenges are ahead.

"I am very happy", one of the boys said in English.

No contact had been made from the trapped Wild Boar soccer team boys in 10 days.

A father of a missing footballer thanks soldiers near Tham Luang cave following news all members of the children's football team and their coach were alive in the cave.

Rescuers began searching for the team on June 23 after their bicycles were found outside the entrance to the cave in northern Thailand. Other efforts have focused on finding shafts on the mountainside that might serve as a back door to the blocked-off areas where the missing may be sheltering. Crews have also been working above ground to pump flood waters out of the cave to give rescuers better access to search passageways.

Thai and British divers found the boys at about 9.45pm Monday some 400 metres beyond the so-called Pattaya Beach area where many thought they might have taken refuge. Rescuers explore several options, including training them to use scuba equipment. "I've been here since the start because I felt sympathy for them", she says.

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