The last remaining member of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach have been pulled out of a flooded cave in Thailand, bringing an end to a near three-week ordeal that prompted an international rescue effort that captivated audiences around the world.
The twelfth boy and his coach were the last of the team to be rescued Tuesday, after a complicated three-day operation to extricate the team, who became trapped on June 23 when rising flood water cut them off deep inside the cave.
In the last 18 days, what began as a local search for the missing 13 turned into a complex rescue operation, involving hundreds of experts who flew in from around the world to help.
The parents of the boys have maintained a constant vigil outside the cave since they went missing, praying for their safe return.
All of the boys and their coach have now been transported to a nearby hospital where eight of their teammates are recuperating after being rescued Sunday and Monday.
The last of the group to emerge from the cave on Tuesday were four Navy SEALs, including a doctor who stayed with the team for a week after their discovery.
"We are not sure if this is a miracle, science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave," the Thai Navy SEALS said in a Facebook post confirming the entire soccer team had been rescued.
Nineteen divers entered the cave at 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday, many on their third mission in three days, with the aim of bringing everyone inside the cave out.
Tuesday's rescue took nine hours in total, from the time the divers entered the cave to bringing out the boys and their coach.
Earlier on Tuesday, more details emerged about the ages and condition of the children already freed from the cave.
All eight boys rescued on Sunday and Monday are being treated in an isolation ward in a Chiang Rai hospital. Medical officials told reporters on Tuesday that they are healthy, fever-free, mentally fit and "seem to be in high spirits."
Authorities will likely look for signs of Histoplasmosis, also known as "cave disease," an infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus often found in bird and bat droppings.
They are all likely to stay in hospital for up to a week, due to their weakened immune systems. Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha visited the hospital Monday, and spoke to relatives and hospital workers.