New safety measures announced for tourists after Thai cave rescue

A police officer walks near Tham Luang cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai

The dry weather allowed workers to pump nearly a foot of water from flooded portions of the cave to help in the complicated and risky rescue.

All eight boys were rescued by divers using guide ropes and shared oxygen tanks.

The first boy to emerge Monday was seen on a stretcher around 4:30 p.m. local time (5:30 a.m. ET), CNN reports.

Rescue operations commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn announced the successful extraction of four more "Wild Boars" soccer team members out of the Tham Luang cave and expressed confidence that rescuers would be able to bring to safety the last batch of five survivors tomorrow faster than they did in the past two days. The rescued boys are said to be in "high spirits". He was taken to the same hospital in Chiang Rai where the first four boys rescued Sunday are being treated. They were discovered last Monday by British volunteer divers huddled on a narrow rock shelf deep within the flooded caves.

Last night, Mr Osottanakorn did not confirm that all five of the trapped group could be rescued today, suggesting that 25-year-old coach Ekaphol Chantawong could face a night alone in the cave.

"On the behalf of Thai Government, I would like to reiterate my honest gratitude for the determination and sacrifice of all involved in this mission including individual volunteers, government officials, private companies and the press corp for their assistance in sharing expertise, manpower and equipment and also people around the world for their moral support throughout this ordeal", Prayut said in his address.

The Thai government is sending out communications to officially thank the leaders of the countries which sent their divers to join in the rescue operation at the Tham Luang cave complex in Chiang Rai.

The rescue operation, which commenced on Sunday, was carried out in three phases. Efforts were again suspended for the day Monday after the second set of four boys were extracted. All the boys were in good condition, Narongsak said.

Due to fear of spreading disease, medical authorities are still not allowing the boys to have direct contact with their parents, who had to wear surgical robes and masks and were not allowed to hug their sons when visiting them in hospital.

Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, who is leading the rescue mission, also warned today's operation could be more hard due to the increased number of people to be evacuated, but that he expected the "everyone will be out today".

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