Efforts to rescue the Thai boys’ soccer team stuck in a cave have started to become successful. After weeks of being forced back due to flooding rescuers have successfully pulled four out of the 12 boys out of the cave.

Getting the boys out

The journey from where the boys are stuck to the entrance of the cave is dangerous and narrow. It’s easy to become disorientated, the cave is extremely dark, and the water is fast moving. One Thai navy seal even died trying to reach the boys.

On Sunday thirteen foreign divers and five elite Thailand navy seals guided the four boys through the narrow and submerged passageways.

“Today was the best day, the best situation in terms of the weather, the health of the boys, our water management for our rescue effort,” said head of the rescue operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn.

The four boys were flown to Chiang Rai, where they were taken to a hospital. The four boys who were rescued first were reportedly the weakest out of the group.

What about the rest?

The timeframe to save the boys has dramatically changed over the last few days. Initially, it sounded like the boys could be in the cave for four months or at least until the rainy season ended. Rescuers were struggling to reduce the water level in the cave, and the boys were too weak to dive themselves.

However, everything changed when engineers were able to drain some of the water. Rescuers have been practicing the plan for days and couldn’t risk rain moving in and flooding the cave again. It sounds like the rest of the boys and their coach will be saved in the same way, but may have to wait.

Narongsak told reporters that the team had to be ready to dive before going again, but that it will happen sooner rather than later.

“I can’t give you an exact number, but it should be more than 10 hours but not exceeding 20 hours. The conditions must be stable like today before we can continue the operation,” Narongsak said.

Before anything can happen, rescuers have to reinstall the air tank and other systems.