Tham Luang Cave - A dangerous rescue mission to free 12 schoolboys and their soccer coach trapped inside a Thai cave for two weeks began on Sunday, authorities said, with the first survivor to possibly emerge 11 hours later.
Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit would attempt to bring the boys – some of whom are as young as 11 and not strong swimmers – through narrow, submerged passageways that claimed the life of a former Thai navy diver earlier this week.
"Today is D-Day," Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the rescue mission, told reporters. "At 10am today (0300 GMT) 13 foreign divers went in to extract the children along with 5 Thai navy SEALs".
He said the first boys could emerge from the cave at around 9pm local time (1400 GMT)
The rescue mission began after rainshowers soaked the Tham Luang Cave area in northern Chiang Rai province for the past 24 hours, heightening the risks in what the governor has called a "war with water and time" to save the team.