Eight rescued Thai boys in good health, ask for chocolate bread

British caver Vernon Unsworth gets out of a pick up truck near the Tham Luang cave complex

British caver Vernon Unsworth gets out of a pick up truck near the Tham Luang cave complex Credit REUTERS Panu Wongcha-um

The members of the "Wild Boars" team, aged between 12 and 16, were guided to safety through the twisting, submerged passages of the cave complex by a team of global expert divers flanked by Thai Navy Seals over two days in a meticulously planned operation.

He said rescuers would resume an operation to retrieve a remaining five people in about 20 hours' time.

The final stage of the operation involves 19 rescue workers, and it would also retrieve a doctor and three Thai Navy SEALs who have stayed with the group since they were found over a week ago.

Officials lavished praise on the Thai and global divers who executed the unsafe rescue mission, guiding boys who can barely swim and have no diving experience through a treacherous 4-kilometre-long (2 1/2-mile) escape route that twisted and turned and rose and fell inside the mountain cave complex.

As we enter the day three of the Thai cave rescue mission, the public health permanent secretary Dr Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, from the Ministry of Public Health and Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital, spoke to the media this morning (local time) about the health of the eight boys who have been rescued so far.

Officials said all eight of the boys were healthy, though two of the four brought out Monday did have swollen lungs. "Everyone is in high spirits and is happy to get out. We can't visit our boys in hospital because they need to be monitored for 48 hours", Somboon told Reuters.

Indeed, news of the boys' plight reached all corners of the globe, with Federation Internationale de Football Association chief Gianni Infantino having pledged to invite the Wild Boar Academy to the World Cup final if they are deemed well enough to make the trip.

VideoThe tech billionaire has developed a special submarine in case it needs to be used.

Mr Jesada said they were uncertain what type of infections the boys could face "because we have never experienced this kind of issue from a deep cave".

American space entrepreneur Elon Musk tweeted that he was in Thailand on Tuesday with a prototype mini-sub, at the flooded cave where five members of a youth football team remained trapped.

The first group of boys have seen their parents but the other families are yet to have contact. Eight boys have been rescued so far.

Doctors expect them to remain in the hospital for at least a week.

Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said he was thankful for Musk's support but the equipment was impractical for the rescue mission. He said that it would hopefully be useful, but, "if not, perhaps it will be in a future situation".

He posted photos of the cave interior and a video showing people working their way through chest-high water.

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