A dramatic three-day rescue of a Thai youth soccer team from a flooded cave came to end on Tuesday when the last boy and coach were plucked from the underground cavern more than two weeks after they were trapped inside, Navy officials said.
The Thai Navy SEALS said on Facebook that all 12 boys from the team and the coach are out of the cave, while four rescuers, a doctor and three Navy SEALS, remain inside.
"All 12 Wild Boars and coach have been extracted from the cave. Hooyah!" the post said. The Navy SEALS later posted: "We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave."
Earlier in the day, local Thai media reports stated the 11th person emerged from the cave after two other people were rescued earlier in the day. The conditions of all of those rescued on Tuesday are unclear.
This photo tweeted by Elon Musk shows efforts underway to rescue trapped members of a youth soccer team from a flooded cave in northern Thailand. (Courtesy of Elon Musk via AP)
Chiang Rai Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said Tuesday's intricate and high-risk operation began just after 10 a.m. and involved 19 divers. A medic and three Thai Navy SEALs who have stayed with the boys on a small, dry shelf deep in the flooded cave will also come out, he said.
"We expect that if there is no unusual condition, the four boys, one coach, the doctor, and three SEALs who have been with the boys since the first day will come out today," he told a news conference to loud cheering, according to the Associated Press.
Before the final rescue of the group, there was optimism that the dive team was getting more efficient in their attempts. They successfully extracted the second group of four a full two hours faster than the first, officials said.
"Two days, eight Boars," read an earlier Facebook post by the Thai navy SEALS about the operation at the Tham Luan Nang Non cave that began Sunday, more than two weeks after the Wild Boars soccer team became trapped.
SpaceX and Tesla head Elon Musk, who visited the cave, released photos of the situation on Twitter, and said his high-tech submarine was ready to help if needed.
Just returned from Cave 3. Mini-sub is ready if needed. It is made of rocket parts & named Wild Boar after kids’ soccer team. Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future. Thailand is so beautiful. pic.twitter.com/EHNh8ydaTT— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2018
"Just returned from Cave 3. Mini-sub is ready if needed," Musk tweeted. "It is made of rocket parts & named Wild Boar after kids’ soccer team. Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future. Thailand is so beautiful."
But despite his offer to help, the Thai rescue chief said it would be of little use now, according to Sky News.
"Although his technology is good and sophisticated it’s not practical for this mission,” Narongsak said.
The divers began the third phase of the operation at 10 a.m. Tuseday local time to bring the remaining boys and their 25-year-old coach out of the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province.
The boy's families were being kept at a distance at a hospital because of fears of infection and the emaciated-looking boys were eating a rice-based porridge because they were still too weak to take regular food, authorities said.
Rescue operations have required two divers to go out with each boy through the cave.
At a news conference on Tuesday morning, officials said the second group of four boys brought out Monday are healthy, and that there are no bats inside the cave so there are no animals that can transit any diseases.
Jesada Chokdumrongsuk, deputy director-general of the Public Health Ministry, said Tuesday that the first four boys rescued, aged 12 to 16, are now able to eat normal food. He added that two of them possibly have a lung infection but all eight are generally "healthy and smiling," and "the kids are footballers so they have high immune systems."
The second group of four rescued on Monday are aged 12 to 14, and all are in "high spirits," he added.
Doctors are expecting to keep the boys in the hospital for at least 7 days, and said there are no complications with the boy's eyesight despite spending multiple days in the dark.
The parents of the first group of boys rescued on Sunday have visited their children through glass windows, as doctors continue to keep them "isolated" as they ensure they are healthy. The group has been vaccinated and vitamin B1 and IV drips, according to officials.
Throughout the daring rescue, there was the risk of monsoon rains raising water in the cave, endangering the team's dry refuge and making the escape route too risky/
The plight of the boys, aged 11-16, and their coach, has riveted Thailand and much of the world -- from the heart-sinking news they were missing to the first flickering video of the huddle of anxious yet smiling boys once they were found by the pair of British divers deep in the sprawling cave.
A Thai well wisher puts a poster to pray for boys and their soccer coach. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Writing in elegant Thai script, the boys urged their parents not to worry, adding that they hoped they wouldn't get too much homework after being rescued and couldn't wait to eat their favorite foods again.
Thailand's prime minister said Tuesday that increased security will be introduced at the cave made "world famous" by this week's heroic rescue operation, Sky News reported.
Rescuers walk toward the entrance to a cave complex where five were still trapped, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
"In future, we have to monitor the entrance and exit to the cave. This cave has become world famous," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said. "We have to install more lights inside the cave and put up signs. It's a dangerous cave."
All preparations of the rescue, including replacing the oxygen cylinders positioned along the route out in the cave, take at least 20 hours, officials. The safety of the divers, who have meticulously planned the mission, is also paramount.
Fox News' Jeff Paul and Melissa Chrise in Chiang Rai, Thailand, and The Associated Press contributed to this report