EXPLAINER: Revealing the rescue plan which freed seven boys from Thai cave

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The Thai authorities have been pumping out water from the cave system ever since locating the missing soccer team, but that wasn't enough to remove all the water.

"Hooyah", the Thai Navy SEALs, who have played a crucial role in the against-the-odds operation, said in a Facebook post as they announced that a total of eight members of the "Wild Boars" football team had been rescued on Sunday and Monday. Narongsak Osatanakorn, the former Chiang Rai governor who's been heading the rescue operation, said the four children had to dive more than half a mile to get to safety.

The Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said in a TV interview on Monday morning she believed the boys would be brought out in groups of four.

"Today, however, we began the evacuation at 11am and finished at about 8pm - nine hours".

A group of 12 under-16 boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach went to explore Tham Luang Nang Non-cave in northern Chiang Rai province, Thailand after a practice match on June 23.

"All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday", he told a news conference.

The Thai official leading the rescue operation, which has involved two elite British divers, said it has gone "better than expected" and that the healthiest boys have been taken out first.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was visiting all eight in the nearby hospital that they were helicoptered to, he said. Massive pumps are being used to lower water levels to shorten the underwater distances. "We should learn from this experience to prevent it from happening again". Four were rescued Sunday and four more on Monday.

Medical teams previously said concerns included hypothermia and an airborne lung infection known as "cave disease", which is caused by bat and bird droppings. "I want to send my moral support for all involved" in the rest of the mission.

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Narongsak Osotthanakorn said the boy's rescue involved numerous same divers who brought the four boys out Sunday.

They were discovered alive last Monday deep inside the flooded cave system.

Among those are United States military partners, British cave diving experts - including the two men who first located the boys a week ago - and rescue workers from Australia, China and other countries. The diver, the first fatality of the rescue effort, was working in a volunteer capacity and died on a mission to place oxygen canisters along the route., necessary for divers to safely travel the five to six hour route to where the boys are.

Paojinda said officials met Monday morning to discuss the next stage of the operation and how to extract the remaining nine people from the flooded cave.

The rescued kids are now in the hospital, where they should receive the proper care before being released to their families.

The aide, Sitthichai Klangpattana, didn't comment on the boys' health or say how well the operation has gone.

Somboon Sompiangjai, 38, the father of one of the trapped boys, said parents were told by rescuers ahead of Sunday's operation the "strongest children" would be brought out first.

A hospital spokesperson told media the priority was to make sure the children were safe.

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