Missing Thai Soccer Team, Day 10: Divers Within 600 Yards of Boys Trapped in Cave

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Navy SEAL divers were within 600 yards of the trapped Thai soccer team in the Tham Luang cave that flooded after heavy rains and prevented the 12 boys and coach from leaving the caves under Pattaya Beach. Getty Images | Linh Pham

UPDATE: 12:08 p.m. EDT—All 12 members of a Thai soccer team and their coach were found alive after they went missing for 10 days inside a cave, the Chiang Rai regional governor said Monday.

The team was found inside an elevated, dry portion of the underground cave system, known as "Pattaya Beach," BBC News reported. Expert divers were able to locate the boys there.

The governor said the boys were safe but did not provide details about their conditions.

Original story:

Navy "Seal" divers were within 600 yards of the trapped Thai soccer team in the Tham Luang cave that flooded after heavy rains and prevented the 12 boys and coach from leaving the caves under Pattaya Beach.

After 10 days, Medical Services Department Director Dr. Somsak Akkasilp and other experts told the Bangkok Post that the soccer team's survival depends on their ability to find fresh, clean water. Nobody from the team has made contact with the outside world since they were trapped on June 23, but medical officials hope that because they are believed to have brought in food, survival is still possible. Doctors told local news outlets the team could survive eight days without food, but infection and potential run-ins with animals in the cave could easily change the fate of the 13 trapped players and coach.

The Meteorological Department's forecast for less rain Monday morning was positive and followed Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osatanakorn's announcement that foreign divers reached the "Sam Yak" split in the sprawling cave network, the Bangkok Post reported. After turning left, divers will now follow a steep underground descent toward the elevated, domed Pattaya Beach chamber, where the 13 Wild Boar soccer team players and coach are expected to be found.

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Navy Seal divers are within the final 600 yards of where officials believe the trapped Thai soccer team took refuge in the Tham Luang cave that flooded after heavy rains and prevented the 12 boys and coach from leaving the caves outside “Pattaya Beach.” Getty Images | Linh Pham

Thai Navy Seals already passed through several totally flooded chambers along a nearly 2.5-mile network of thin caves. Their passage required LED lights and oxygen tanks to traverse, and the continuing heavy rains made the water muddier and darker. The divers are now in the most critical section of their miles-long journey through the underground cave network. They are now attempting to widen a "very small hole" that may be the fastest route in the final 600 yards into the dry, elevated dome, CNN reported.

Naval Special Warfare Command Chief Apakorn Yukongkaew told the Bangkok Post on Sunday, "We won't turn back...We will continue to move forward until we find the boys."

Foreign specialists from Australia, Britain, China, Laos and Myanmar are assisting Thai Navy divers in the effort that has required blasting of narrow cave passages. The U.S. sent a group of 17 Air Force rescue specialists to assist in the search operations. The teams have a three-pronged approach to gaining the fastest access to the team taking refuge in the Pattaya Beach air chamber. First, divers are slowly pushing forward through the flooded caves, soldiers are searching for fissures that could provide shortcuts and engineers are pumping out millions of gallons of water from the entire cave network.

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Navy SEAL divers are within the final 600 yards of where officials believe the trapped Thai soccer team took refuge in the Tham Luang cave that flooded after heavy rains and prevented the 12 boys and coach from leaving the caves outside Pattaya Beach. Google Earth

The temperatures in the cave are between 68 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit and messages sent by the children prior to their June 23 disappearance suggest they brought torches and food into the cave before becoming trapped. Medical experts said the survival of the trapped soccer depends on their ability to find fresh drinking water over the past several days.

Missing Thai Soccer Team, Day 10: Divers Within 600 Yards of Boys Trapped in Cave | World
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