Remember those soccer boys who spent more than two weeks in a Thai cave after water from heavy rain blocked their exit?
British divers discovered the 13, huddled on a muddy bank in a partly flooded chamber deep several kilometres inside the complex, on Monday last week.
The Thai Navy Seals leading the operation say eight boys have now been extracted from the cave and will now work to extract the four boys and their coach who remain trapped inside the cave system.
He said the next phase of the operation will resume in between 10 and 20 hours - probably late Monday morning or afternoon - as rescuers have to replaced empty compressed air tanks and perform other maintenance on the rescue system. An ambulance was seen leaving the scene immediately afterward early Monday evening.
The eight freed boys of the Thai soccer team may have seen daylight for the first time in weeks, but they still can not come face-to-face with their loved ones.
Kittichok Kankeaw, a teammate of Nattawut Takamsai, one of the trapped boys, said he would try to assist his friend to catch up at school.
Authorities have refused to confirm names reported in local media, but in the small town of Mae Sai where the cave is located, it's all anybody is talking about.
"All 12 wild boars and the coach have left the cave. all safe". Since then, an worldwide team of engineers, rescuers and divers has been delivering supplies and food to the children and their coach ― and mulling ways to best help them escape. With the assistance of divers, they swam out with oxygen tanks, along a 2-mile long rope guiding them out. "At 11 am we sent the second team", said Narongsak Osatanakorn, the governor of Chiang Rai.More news: 'We were fantastic' - Kane buzzing to lead England into semi-final
More news: Officials say Thailand's rescued boys in good health, hungry
More news: Trump nominates conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court
Weather forecasters warned heavy rain could hit the area through the week.
"The medical team is considering whether to let closest relative visit them", Osotthanakorn said.
The group went into the Tham Luang cave more than two weeks ago. Two more were taken from the cave before nightfall.
"Visitors will only be allowed to meet and talk to the patients", he said.
Giving an update on the four boys pulled from the cave Sunday, Narongsak said, "This morning, they said they were hungry and wanted to eat khao pad grapao" - a popular Thai rice dish of meat stir-fried with basil and chili peppers.
The cave rescue mission went faster than practice drills over the last few days, according to Osotthanakorn. Previously, round trips through the cave network would take about 11 hours.
Interior Minister Anupong Paojina said the same divers who participated in Sunday's rescue conducted the operation Monday because they are familiar with the cave conditions. Two other boys came out at 7:40 p.m. and 7:50 p.m. The boys were transferred by helicopter and ambulance to a hospital where they are being treated, but officials did not disclose details of their condition. Onlookers were seen watching and cheering as they drove by.
A daring rescue operation the likes of which the world has never seen is now underway with the participation of a team of Thai and worldwide divers.
The high-risk rescue dive began with a sense of urgency after authorities failed to settle on an alternative means of bringing the boys out.