Elite divers hauled four more young footballers out of a flooded Thai cave on Monday, authorities said, bringing to eight the number saved in a stunning rescue mission but still leaving five others trapped. He expected it to arrive around 11 p.m. Monday, local time.
However, rumours have rated that he has apparently been giving his food to the boys to keep them healthy, if this turns out to be true he may be rescued sooner rather than later.
A total of eight boys were removed from the cave on Sunday and Monday. Nine people remained trapped in the cave, including the team's coach, as of Monday morning.
Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents were told by rescuers ahead of Sunday's operation the "strongest children" would be brought out first.
The most risky part of the journey out of the labyrinth cave system is the first kilometer, in which they are required to squeeze through a narrow flooded channel.
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The four rescued boys are in hospital and will be kept in an isolation unit for 1-2 days.
The group of boys ages 11-16 and their 25-year-old coach had been trapped for more than two weeks.
Thailand's Meteorological Department said there was a 60 percent chance of rain Monday with thunderstorms forecast throughout the week.
It was clear doctors were taking a cautious approach.
Osotthanakorn said the boys were hungry and asking for a Thai dish of beef with basil and chilli.
The group went into the Tham Luang cave more than two weeks ago.
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"Living in a cave has a different environment, which might contain animals that could transmit any disease", they said. Four boys and their football coach are still trapped inside the cave. Visitors would need to wear sanitized clothes and stay two meters away from the children. A medic and three Thai Navy SEALs who have stayed with the boys on a small, dry shelf deep in the flooded cave will also come out, he said.
Cave rescue experts have said they consider an underwater escape to be a last resort, especially with people untrained in diving.
His first suggestion involved feeding a long tube through the cave system that could then be inflated with air "like a bouncy castle", allowing the boys to climb through it to safety. More worrying, however, oxygen levels in the chamber where the boys sought refuge were falling. It was unclear who was inside the ambulance or the helicopter. Onlookers were seen watched and cheering as they drove by. "Good night. Hooyah." The boys and their coach, whose team is known as the Wild Boars, became stranded when they were exploring the cave after a practice game on June 23.
But the chances of monsoon rains sending torrents of water into the cave and making the rescue effort too risky is never far from the minds of everyone involved in the operation.
Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda told reporters the rescued boys were in good health in hospital but did not give details.
The outlet reported that eight boys remain inside the cave.
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