The most unsafe part of the journey out of the labyrinth cave system is the first kilometer, during which they are required to squeeze through a narrow flooded channel.
The "Wild Boar" youth soccer team and its 25-year-old coach were exploring the cave on June 23 when heavy rains flooded their exit route. This mission was successful because we had power.
As celebrations rang out across the world over the stranger-than-fiction Thai cave rescue's success, a hero who was the last to leave the mountain found out his father had died.
Cave-diving experts had warned diving the youngsters out was potentially too risky.
After pondering for days how to get the 13 out, a rescue operation was launched on Sunday when four of the boys were brought out, tethered to rescue divers.
An Australian Defence Force spokesman said Dr Harris, who made key assessments of the 12 boys on Saturday to greenlight the rescue operation, would not be speaking to the media.
For the first half of the journey back, the boys were forced to wade or dive through flooded passes for as much as 10 to 15 minutes underwater at a time.
Two of the boys had suspected lung infections but the four boys from the first group rescued were all walking around their hospital beds.
A spokesperson from the Thai public health authority said that they were in "high spirits" and also claimed that as they are football players, they have high immune systems.
"An extraordinary worldwide effort by Thai-led team who rescued 12 boys & Wild Boars soccer coach", she said on Twitter. The food had been cooked in the camp right outside the mouth of the cave, but the boys could only nibble on the rice because they'd grown so weak, the Thai military sources said.
They're all likely to stay the hospital for seven days due to their weakened immune systems, Chokedamrongsook said.
US President Donald Trump tweeted "great job" and British Prime Minister Theresa May said: "The world was watching and will be saluting the bravery of all those involved".
A few days of relatively clear weather has allowed them to pump enough water out of the cave to allow the boys to walk through some sections. "Such a attractive moment - all freed, great job!"
Followers around the world were gripped for weeks while rescuers were unsure if they would be able to get the boys out.
One of soccer's most popular teams, Manchester United, expressed its relief over the rescue and invited the boys and their coach, as well as those who saved them, to come see the team play on their home ground this season. Each of the nine chambers had a doctor waiting, and the boys were evaluated at each chamber.