Mae Sai, Thailand - Twelve boys and their football coach found alive in a Thai cave will be supplied with four months' worth of food and get diving training, the military said, as focus shifted to the tricky task of evacuating the group from the complex underground system.
The boys aged between 11 and 16, were discovered with their 25-year-old coach late Monday, rake thin but alive, huddled on a ledge deep inside a flooded cave nine days after they became trapped in a pitch black cave hemmed by rising floodwaters.
Much-needed food and medical supplies -- including high-calorie gels and paracetamol -- reached them Tuesday as rescuers prepared for the possibility that they may be there for some time.
"(We will) prepare to send additional food to be sustained for at least four months and train all 13 to dive while continuing to drain the water," Navy Captain Anand Surawan said, according to a statement from Thailand's Armed Forces.
The miracle rescue sparked jubilation across the country after a gruelling operation beset by heavy downpours and fast-moving flooding floods.
"We called this mission impossible because it rained every day... but with our determination and equipment we fought nature," Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said Tuesday.
"The doctor advised that we should provide several kind of medicine to prevent infection and other illness," adding that medics had reached the young footballers.
The boys were found late Monday by British divers, with footage showing them emaciated and huddled on a mud mound deep inside the cave.AFP