Thai Navy SEALs use Facebook for nail-biting updates on cave rescue mission

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But it began raining heavily just after the first boys were rescued.

Extracting everyone could take up to four days, but the initial success has raised hopes that could be done.

Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda said they are generally "strong and safe" and under close medical supervision.

Some of the boys' parents told Reuters they had not been told who had been rescued and that they were not allowed to visit the hospital.

Between four to six boys have been rescued in the first phase of the operation to free the trapped soccer team, Thai officials told reporters.

Thirteen foreign and five Thai divers are taking part in the rescue operation.

Earlier on Sunday, Ten Eyewitness News understands Thai Navy SEAL divers and global divers held a briefing before authorities ordered an evacuation of the area around the Tham Luang cave complex.

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A spokesman for Musk's Boring Co tunnelling unit, which has four engineers at the cave, said Thai officials had requested the device.

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. The latter option is extremely unsafe, and the arduous trip caused the death of a former Thai Navy SEAL as he lost consciousness underwater while placing extra air tanks inside the cave to allow other rescuers to reach the group.

Some officials initially said that the boys could remain where they were - on a dry rock ledge near a point inside the cave known as Pattaya Beach - for up to several months as long as they were supplied with food and medicines.

The British Cave Rescue Council, which has sent seven divers to assist in the rescue, said the death of a former Thai Navy SEAL last Friday as he dived within the cave was a reminder of the risks.

In a letter of his own, the coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, apologized to the boys' parents for the ordeal.

He said the extraction effort would likely resume early Monday.

Other media outlets have reported that Prajak "Note" Sutham, 14, Nattawut "Tle" Takamsai, 14 and Pipat Bodhi, 15, were the other three boys who had been rescued.

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Night's relatives have said they believe the group went to the cave to celebrate his 16th birthday after a Saturday football practice and got caught as heavy rains caused the water inside the cave to suddenly rise. "Divers will work with doctors in the cave to examine each the kids' health to determine who should get to come out first", Narongsak said Sunday morning.

This is a hugely high-profile rescue attempt and Thailand knows the world is watching.

"Don't be anxious, I miss everyone".

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A huge support team of up to 90 people were expected to be involved in supporting the operation.

"I promise to take the very best care of the kids", he wrote.

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