The boys and their assistant football coach disappeared on June 23 during an outing to the cave complex, which spanned 10km beneath the mountains in northern Chiang Rai province, and the search swiftly became an global operation, with specialist cave divers and other support flying in to help.
The world's attention has been riveted to their story, which echoes the tale of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped for 69 days almost a half-mile below the surface in 2010.
The group's bikes were found abandoned near the cave's entrance.
Dozens of local and foreign rescuers, including a team of Navy divers and several cave experts, had spent the past few days helping to locate the team, but rising and muddy waters showing no signs of receding have stymied efforts and blocked access to chambers of the cave.
By Tuesday, the children had been assessed and deemed to be in stable medical condition, with only some minor injuries.
On Monday, twelve missing soccer players and their coach were finally found by a rescue team after being stuck for nine days inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai, a province in the north of Thailand.
"Cave diving is a very technical skill and it's extremely unsafe, especially for an untrained diver", Anmar Mirza, coordinator of the US National Cave Rescue Commission, told AFP. Cave rescue experts said it could be safer to simply supply them where they are for now rather than trying to have the boys dive out.
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More rains are predicted for the weekend, however, and Thailand's monsoon season will stretch until September, causing some officials to predict it could be months before the boys get out.
One of the three British rescuers is heard to say: "Many, many people are coming. we are the first".
Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute director-general Sutat Weesakul said the miraculous discovery of the footballers was helped by the easing of rains during the weekend.
Thailand is now in the midst of its monsoon season, and while Monday was relatively dry, the rains returned on Tuesday.
Next step: Dive through four kilometres on subterranean galleries or wait for water levels to go down?
One way being considered to get the Thai group out is to coach them to swim out of the complex using special breathing masks.
However, the hard part may yet be ahead: getting them out safely.
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Other teams are still scouring the mountainside in the hope of finding another way into the cave. Authorities said those efforts will continue.
This might be safer but could also take longer, as new roads will need to be built to bring drilling equipment to different areas.
Bill Whitehouse, the vice-chairman of the British Cave Rescue Council, said the British divers who reached the trapped children and coach had to dive against the current, at times having to drag themselves along the walls.
Diving would be the fastest, but arguably most unsafe, extraction method. Anmar Mirza, the U.S. National Cave Rescue Commission coordinator, said "Trying to take non-divers through a cave is one of the most unsafe situations possible, even if the dives are relatively easy". By all accounts, the dives into the cave have been a challenge. "We've been diving for days".
Anupong said the boys would be brought out via the same complicated route through which their rescuers entered, and he conceded that if something went awry, it could be disastrous.
Authorities said the boys, who had also been shown Tuesday in a video shot by the British diver who discovered them, were being looked after by seven members of the Thai navy SEALs, including medics, who were staying with them inside the cave.
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