At a news conference Monday, former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn said the second rescue involved numerous same divers who brought the four boys out on Sunday.
Rescue operations were stopped Sunday evening post the rescue of four boys to replace air tanks and supplies, and it resumed Monday morning.
Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said the second phase began at 11 a.m. and authorities "hope to hear good news in the next few hours".
Officials suspended the rescue operation on Monday, after pulling an eighth boy from the cave, leaving four boys and their coach still inside.
Witnesses say the boys freed Monday were treated at a make-shift hospital at the site, before being taken to a local hospital.
But with oxygen levels inside dropping to unsafe lows and the prospect of heavy rain flooding the area completely, authorities decided they had to move quickly and take the group out through the water-filled tunnels. After Monday's rescue effort, four boys and the coach were still inside the cave. "We can't visit our boys in hospital because they need to be monitored for 48 hours", Somboon told Reuters.
It appears that the team were going into the cave as part of an initiation ceremony which tasked the boys with reaching the end of the cave and returning having written their names on the far wall. Jesada said they were uncertain what type of infections the boys could face "because we have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave". On Monday night, Musk posted on Twitter that he had "just returned' from the still-flooded cave, with photos of the rescue site where a team of swelling worldwide experts have been working around the clock since the team was found". "Four boys were brought out today".
Narongsak said ahead of the rescue dive that recent mild weather and falling water levels had created optimal conditions for an underwater evacuation.
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Rescuers have been unable to extend a hose pumping oxygen all the way to where the boys are, but have brought them some oxygen tanks.
Rescue operations chief Narongsak Osottanakorn described Sunday's initial rescue bid as "D-Day" when it was launched, and there were fears that any one of many potential pitfalls could prove deadly.
So treacherous were the conditions that one Thai Navy SEAL died during operations last week, a blow to rescuers who faced a race against time to free the soccer team.
A Royal Thai Police helicopter airlifts the fifth boy from a makeshift pad in Mae Sai district to Wing 416 in Muang district in Chiang Rai on Monday.
It no longer mattered, as all 12 boys and the coach were finally safe in hospital, where they will remain in quarantine for about a week. They were also able to talk on the phone.
The goal is to get them all out before heavy rain forecasted makes it even more hard to reach them.
The only way to bring the boys and their coach out of the cave is by navigating dark and tight passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents, as well as oxygen-depleted air.
"I'm hoping for good news", he said. 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.