The plight of the boys, aged 11-16, and their coach, has riveted Thailand and much of the world - from the heart-sinking news they were trapped to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys brought back by the pair of British divers who found them after penetrating deep into the sprawling cave. Chiang Rai provincial acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn made the comment at a news conference Sunday evening after rescuers extracted four of the boys from the cave where they had been trapped for more than two weeks.
Initially, officials said the strongest boys would be taken out of the cave first.
Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told the Nine network that Harris had been involved in the boys' medical assessment, helping determine which boys would first swim out of the cave.
But the survival of those remaining in the cave is far from guaranteed with extraction efforts put on hold until Monday morning to allow rescue divers time to resupply. Today, the operation resumes in efforts to get the remaining eight boys and their coach out to safety.
Monsoon rains flooded the cave preventing the team from getting out.
The four boys pulled from the cave Sunday in an urgent and risky operation that involved them diving through the cave's tight and twisting passages were in good health.
Falling oxygen levels and the fact that many boys can not swim well present further risks as they are guided slowly through pitch-black waters.
"We have more expertise than yesterday", he said.
Rescue teams need at least 10 hours to get ready for the next phase of their mission.
It is still not clear how the boys will be rescued.
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As oxygen drops below the lower threshold of the optimal level, the body begins to undergo changes and may face the serious risk of hypoxia, the condition that causes altitude sickness, according to OSHA.
Last month, twelve members of the Wild Boars soccer team-and their 25-year-old coach-became trapped in the flooded cave when they went exploring after soccer practice.
It is believed they have been able to make the last part of the journey on foot.
To get the boys out, divers will be forced by the narrow passages to accompany them one at a time.
Sunday, July 1: Divers inch further into the cave, as an operating base is set up inside and hundreds of air tanks and other supplies are pulleyed in.
On Sunday night, Thai navy SEALs posted a celebratory note on their Facebook page, saying: "Have sweet dreams everyone. The war ends when we win all three battles - the battles to search, rescue and send them home".
In an earlier tweet, the Boring Company CEO said this prototype was being tested in a pool specifically with subjects untrained in SCUBA.
"(The rescues) have raised the hopes of those watching this very closely, very nervously - and of course the relatives of those trapped".
"I am still waiting here at the cave, keeping my fingers crossed to see whether my son will be one of those to come out today", Supaluk Sompiengjai, a mother of Pheeraphat - known by his nickname "Night" - told AFP.
"To the parents of all the kids, right now the kids are all fine, the crew are taking good care".
Asked how the authorities had decided which boys were to be taken out first, Mr Narongsak said: "Their health".