Thailand cave rescue to be turned into Hollywood movie

Richard William Stanton Robert Charles Harper and John Volanthen

Richard William Stanton Robert Charles Harper and John Volanthen

Rescuers have resumed a rescue operation for a third day to free four remaining boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in northern Thailand.

The members of the "Wild Boars" team, aged between 12 and 16, were guided to safety through the twisting, submerged passages of the Tham Luang cave by a team of global expert divers flanked by Thai Navy SEALs over two days in a meticulously planned operation.

Thongchai said one member of the final group of four boys and the coach who arrived at a hospital Tuesday evening had a slight lung infection.

Pak Loharnshoon is a doctor with the Thai Navy Seals, who, along with three others, volunteered to stay with the boys after they were found underground a week ago.

The hazardous bid to rescue the boys - aged between 11 and 16 - started unexpectedly on Sunday when the rescue team said conditions were flawless for the evacuation.

The four boys rescued on Sunday are now eating normal food and walking around, while the four extracted on Monday are being given soft food.

Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said Tuesday's rescue operation began just after 10 a.m. and involves 19 divers.

The boys lost on average 2kg during their ordeal but are said to be in good physical condition. It took the divers about eight hours to get into the cave, reach the boys and bring them back out.

"Hooyah! Mission accomplished", read another, echoing the rallying cry of the Thai navy SEALs involved in the rescue.

Two more boys are rescued from the cave. Officials also said they are taking less medication, and can eat anything they want - good news for the boys who were looking forward to fried rice with basil.

Jesada Chokdumrongsuk said that the boys are "healthy and smiling", he added: "the kids are footballers so they have high immune systems".

It could be at least seven days before they can be released from hospital, Jesada told a news conference.

According to a document released by the Thai authorities, the plan was that two divers would accompany each of the boys, who were being brought out in groups. The children would be in the hospital for up to 10 days, the doctor said, adding that they require 30 more days to recover at home.

Officials involved in the rescue of the soccer team from the Tham Luang cave complex have politely declined to deploy the submarine brought over by Tesla CEO Elon Musk to assist with the extraction of the kids.

Dr Richard Harris and his dive partner Craig Challen have issued a statement thanking people for their support and words of encouragement after the successful cave dive rescue of 12 trapped boys and their football coach.