He said he hoped the rescue mission, which would begin with 19 divers and include more throughout the day, would proceed even faster than Monday's nine-hour operation. But heavy rain overnight has increased the danger that the water levels in the caves will rise further, adding to the hazards of diving and potentially threatening the elevated bank of sand on which the football team are stranded.
Importantly, as of the time of this writing, eight of the 13 trapped people have already been saved by the heroic actions of rescue divers and support teams.
On Sunday, officials waited until several hours after the rescued boys had been transported to hospitals to announce their rescue.
Onlookers in Chiang Rai, Thailand, watch and cheer as ambulances transport some of the rescued schoolboys from a cave where they were trapped for two weeks.
Both groups were brought out of the cave with gauze over their eyes because of their prolonged stint 3.2 kilometres deep inside the cave, Dr Chokedamrongsuk said, and had inititally worn sunglasses at the hospital to soften their exposure to the light of the outside world.
"[The parents] visited them through a window due to disease control", Osatanakorn said.
Jesada said the group had been given x-rays and blood tests, adding that two presented suspected symptoms of pneumonia but were given antibiotics and were "in a normal state".
But although the eight were rescued, there were concerns they may have contracted an illness while in the cave.
Following a similar pattern as the previous two days, the divers ventured back into the cave at 10:00am today, Narongsak told reporters.
The Thai Navy Seals, who have played a critical role in the treacherous rescue efforts, confirmed that four more boys were retrieved from the Tham Luang Nang Non cave.
Rescuers began the operation at 4am United Kingdom time and are determined to get them out of the Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand, before monsoon rains that could last until October make any evacuation impossible.
The rescue missions take almost half a day to complete. Narongsak on Monday said their identities were being protected out of respect for the families of those still trapped inside the cave.
The perilous rescues have involved two divers accompanying each of the boys, all of whom have been learning to dive only since July 2, when searchers found them.
A person with knowledge of the rescue said just before the eleventh person was spotted, that 10 people had been brought out.
Authorities on Tuesday were planning for their final push. After the boys were transported to the same hospital as their other teammates, Thai officials said the rescue operation would again be put on hold for up to 20 hours so rescuers could lay down new air tanks and prepare the escape route. One was that it was unknown how safe and dry the area where they had taken shelter would stay as Thailand's rainy season, which lasts until at least late October, picks up pace.
Another and perhaps more worrying concern was that oxygen levels in the complex were falling close to unsafe levels.
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