All twelve boys and their coach have been rescued, after being trapped in a cave in Thailand for more than 17 days. The Thai navy Seals, who have been running the operation, confirmed that all 13 members of the Wild Boar football team, have been rescued in an update on its Facebook page.
The rescued boys are being airlifted to hospital.
Iceland’s Prime Minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir, was the first world leader to welcome the news. Taking to Twitter, she wrote; "Today, hope, compassion, and courage has won. Warmest wishes for a speedy recovery to all of you brave boys from your friends in Iceland".
Today, hope, compassion, and courage has won. Warmest wishes for a speedy recovery to all of you brave boys from your friends in Iceland. #ThaiCaveRescue— Katrín Jakobsdóttir (@katrinjak) July 10, 2018
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who offered the mini-submarine to the rescue operation, also added his congratulations.
"Great news that they made it out safely. Congratulations to an outstanding rescue team!", he wrote on Twitter.
Great news that they made it out safely. Congratulations to an outstanding rescue team!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 10, 2018
US President Donald Trump also joined in the celebrations. “Such a beautiful moment – all freed, great job!” he tweeted.
On behalf of the United States, congratulations to the Thai Navy SEALs and all on the successful rescue of the 12 boys and their coach from the treacherous cave in Thailand. Such a beautiful moment - all freed, great job!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2018
The operations began on Tuesday as the first eight boys, freed in operations on Sunday and Monday, recuperated at a hospital in the nearest city, Chiang Rai.
Torrential rain struck the site on Monday evening and it continued through into the morning, but authorities said preparations for the final rescue mission were unaffected.
The boys and their coach became stranded when they went exploring in the cave after a practice game June 23. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days.
They were found by two British divers last Monday, sparking a week of fevered activity around the cave system as teams of local and international experts devised a series of rescue plans.
The ordeal has riveted Thailand and made global headlines, and the search and rescue operation has involved international experts and rescuers.
President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Sunday: "The U.S. is working very closely with the Government of Thailand to help get all of the children out of the cave and to safety. Very brave and talented people!"
Elon Musk's Space X rocket company tested a "tiny kid-sized submarine" that could potentially help the children through the narrow, flooded cave passageways. A spokesman for Musk's Boring Co. tunneling unit, which has four engineers at the cave, said in an email on Sunday that Thai officials had requested the device. If the tests were successful, the sub would be placed on a 17-hour flight to Thailand. He also posted a video of a diver testing the device in a pool.
The second group of boys who were freed on Monday are still undergoing treatment at the Chiang Rai Prachanookroh hospital. Authorities said that they looking for signs of Histoplasmosis, also known as "cave disease," an infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus often found in bird and bat droppings. They are all likely to stay in hospital for seven days due to their weakened immune systems. Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha visited the hospital on Monday, and spoke to relatives and hospital workers.