Rescuers free eighth boy from cave in Thailand

Fighting time, high waters, divers prepare to rescue second group of Thai boys from cave

Fighting time, high waters, divers prepare to rescue second group of Thai boys from cave

The second day of the underground rescue attempt began at 11:00am local time (2:00pm AEST). Nine people remain trapped in the cave.

"All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday", he told a news conference. There were several concerns that prompted authorities to move forward with the plan to dive the boys out. If the rain god helps us, then we may be able to work fast.

Officials have said storms forecast for Chiang Rai province in Thailand's far north had factored into their decision to go ahead with a complicated and risky plan for the boys aged between 11 and 16 and their coach to dive out of the cave.

The four boys pulled from the cave Sunday were happy and in good health, authorities said. Eight others, plus their coach, remained in the cavern.

One volunteer, former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan, died Friday while placing spare air tanks along the escape route.

They were found more than a week later by a pair of British volunteer divers who were part of a rescue mission that has drawn divers and experts from around the world - including USA military personnel from Japan, bird's nest collectors who hunted for shafts in the rock face and members of Elon Musk's SpaceX venture.

He said the boys rescued Sunday were strong and safe but needed to undergo medical checks.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited the cave to inspect the rescue operation, with navy rescuers giving him a rousing cheer.

The operation on Monday went more smoothly than on Sunday and took two hours less as the practice became more refined, he said. To get the remaining boys out, divers will be forced by the narrow passages to accompany them one at a time.

Millions of people around the world have been captivated by the rescue mission.

Families of the four boys who were rescued on Sunday evening have not yet seen them since they were rushed to the Chiangrai Prachanukroh hospital, about 60 miles from the cave.

Though it rained again Sunday, it did not affect the water levels in the cave, said Narongsak Osatanakorn, the leader of the command center in charge of the rescue operation.

"Today was the best situation - in terms of the children's health, water and our rescue readiness", said Mr Narongsak, now governor of Phayao province but still head of the joint command centre coordinating the rescue. Efforts to pump water out of the cave have been set back by heavy downpours.

The Thai Navy released a video on Facebook showing the moment the group was found alive by British divers last Monday.

Thai authorities say they have resumed operations to rescue members of a boys' soccer team trapped in a flooded cave after successfully getting four of the boys out on Sunday.

Monsoon flooding cut off their escape route and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

CNN reported that the rescue operation had resumed. The images showed a team of SpaceX engineers testing the device in the swimming pool of a Los Angeles high school. However, it is unclear if the device is part of any current rescue plans.

"As all of us said, the main thing is we still need more than 20 hours to get ready", Narongsak said. "Very fearless and talented people!"