Thai Navy SEALs, medic give thumbs up after cave rescue

Ekkapol Chantawong and an aunt one of the few remaining relatives he had after an epidemic made him an orphan aged 10

After their evacuation, the medic and three Royal Thai Navy SEALs who had accompanied the stranded team then made their way out.

Twelve boys and their football coach who were trapped in a cave in northern Thailand for more than a fortnight have been rescued in an unprecedented three-day mission that had all the features of a blockbuster film. Former Chiang Rai provincial governor Narongsak Osatanakorn, who has been managing the rescue efforts, told a rowdy crowd in the city that the success of the mission was attributable to "the power of love".

However, officials say at least 3 Navy SEAL divers and a doctor are still inside the cave. Thai authorities have said the boys have stayed "good and happy". They will likely be kept in the hospital for a week to undergo tests, officials said on Tuesday.

Audiences around the world cheered the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a cave in Thailand with messages of support as the saga generated suggestions of help, prayers and - finally - expressions of relief.

On Tuesday, the final members of the team were brought out to complete the rescue, and the news has been welcomed across soccer.

This final mission aims to rescue the last remaining 4 members of the team, as well as their coach.

The 12 boys, aged 11-16, and their coach, 25, are part of Wild Boars Football Club in Thailand.

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Those evacuated so far have been taken to hospital in Chiang Rai for treatment and observation. "If I see him, I just want to hug him and tell him that I missed him very much", she said. The first boys rescued in what's been a days-long process were in "high spirits" and generally appeared "healthy", according to the Associated Press.

But against all odds, the rescue team was successful in extracting the group.

TRANQUILLIZERS AND QUARANTINE Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who visited the cave on Monday, said the boys had been given tranquillizers to stop them getting stressed on the way out of the cave, but he dismissed any suggestion they had been "sedated".

President Trump tweeted his congratulations, describing the emergence of the last four boys and their coach as "such a lovely moment".

A Reuters witness saw four people being carried out of the Tham Luang cave on stretchers separately on Tuesday, the third day of the rescue operation.

Staff previously said their first assessments would focus on the boys' breathing and signs of hypothermia, as well as a potentially fatal lung infection known as cave disease. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected". ABC News has identified the Wild Boar soccer team players Mongkol Boonbiam, Songpong Jaiwong, Ponchai Kumluang, Pipat Pothi, Duangpetch Promthep, Adul Samon, Panumat Sangdee, Peerapat Sompiangjai, Prajak Sutham, Nuttawut Takamsong, Chanin Wiboonrungrueng and Eakkarat Wongsukchan.

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