Tenth boy walks from Thai cave as rescue mission nears end

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The 12 boys, all part of a youth soccer team known as the Wild Boars, first went missing with their coach more than two weeks ago. He was taken by helicopter and ambulance to the same hospital in Chiang Rai where the first four boys rescued Sunday by a team of global and Thai dive experts are being treated.

Royal Thai Navy Seals confirmed the rescue operation was complete on Tuesday afternoon (UK time) after three days of heroic efforts by divers, with all of those trapped carried out alive. A fresh operation to save the remaining five people was launched on Tuesday. They said they were waiting for a medic and three SEALs who stayed with the boys in their dark refuge deep inside the cave complex to come out.

Officials have not been commenting on the rescue mission as it has been taking place, so it was not clear what condition those brought out on Tuesday were in.

Two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling", he said. The boys who were initially rescued asked for basil fried rice, but doctors are instead feeding them soft foods like Congee, a Chinese rice porridge.

The four boys rescued first are "well, they're up and about", Sky News' southeast Asia correspondent, Siobhan Robbins, said.

The eight boys who've been rescued so far have all swum out of the cave, each escorted by two expert divers.

The second group of 4 that were pulled out afterwards are aged between 12 and 14.

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"The kids are footballers so they have high immune systems", Dr Jedsada said.

Four ambulances and a convoy of other vehicles arrived at the cave site Tuesday morning to prepare for the third phase of the rescue.

Former Chiang Rai governor and rescue mission commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn said Monday night that it would take 20 hours to prepare for the operation, but he cautioned timings could change depending on weather and water levels.

Chief of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osottanakorn, declined to comment on the identity of the four people brought out in the evening, saying updates would be supplied at a news conference that is scheduled to be held late on Monday. Before the final rescue, he told CNN that divers inside the cave faced a number of challenges.

"All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave", the SEALs wrote today.

A Thai well wisher puts a poster to pray for boys and their soccer coach who have been trapped since June 23, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand Monday.

Musk tweeted: "Just returned from Cave 3".

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