Rescuers on Monday night found 12 boys and their soccer coach alive inside Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex in Chiang Rai Province after being trapped for 10 days, according to a local official.
Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osottanakorn, who oversees the rescue operation, told reporters that the team finally found the 13 missing near a large chamber on higher ground in the cave. He said they are safe but declined to provide more details as the operation has not yet completed.
(One of the relatives of the missing boys show photos of them after the 12 boys and their soccer coach have been found alive in the cave)
The boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old male coach disappeared after entering the cave on June 23.
The water drainage would be continued while the medical team will be sent to examine their health before assessing how to bring them out of the partially flooded cave.
However, Thai Navy later released a video record when the joint team of navy SEAL and foreign divers first met the boys and coach, who sat on the high ground.
With delightful faces, the boys thanked the divers and said that they were happy. The British diver replied the boys "we are happy too." A few of the boys are seen crying on the five-minute video.
The diving team also informed the 13 that it took time to go out of the cave as they have to dive.
(General Bancha Duriyaphan speaks to the press after the 12 boys and their soccer coach have been found alive in the cave.)
To bring the boys out, the Thai navy plans to take the doctors to provide medical treatment in need and check their health. In addition, food for four months will be sent inside as the rescue team will provide diving lesson for all of them.
Shortly after learning that their children were safe, parents who have been waiting outside the cave expressed happiness by cheering and hugging each other.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was quoted by the government spokesman, Sansern Kaewkamnerd, as saying he thanked all tremendous efforts of Thai and international units as well as media and public, who contributed to the rescue operation.
"The prime minister is delighted to learn they are safe," Sansern said.
The search operation has mobilized relevant agencies as well as foreign assistance from such countries as Britain, China, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Australia and the United States.