PICTURES: Joy as 12 boys, coach missing in Thailand cave found after 9 days
Twelve members of a football team and their coach have been found alive after being trapped for nine days in a flooded cave in Thailand
They were discovered by naval special forces but the challenge now will be to extract the party safely, with rising water and mud impeding access.
Rescuers had hoped the group would find safety on a ledge in an underground chamber nicknamed Pattaya Beach but they were found 400 metres (440 yards) away having moved to higher ground to avoid the rising water.
The group’s plight has gripped the country and led to an outpouring of support.
The boys aged 11 to 16 and their coach went to explore the caves on 23 June.
“They are all safe but the mission is not completed,” the Chiang Rai governor told a press conference at the command centre at the cave entrance.
“Our mission is to search, rescue and return. So far we just found them. Next mission is to bring them out from the cave and send them home.”