The four boys rescued from a Thai cave were reportedly the weakest

Ambulances transport boys rescued from Tham Luang Nang Non cave to hospital on July 8 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Photo: Linh Pham/Getty Images
  • Rescuers reportedly took the four weakest boys out of the Tham Luang caves first as the mission to free the 12 boys and their coach began on Sunday.
  • Several media outlets reported the initial plan was to start with the strongest boys first, but the plan seems to have been reversed.
  • Efforts to free the remaining eight team members and their coach are expected to restart on Monday as low water levels in the cave have provided a brief window for a safer rescue

Rescuers reportedly took the four weakest boys out of the Tham Luang caves first as the mission to free the 12 soccer players and their coach began on Sunday.

Several media outlets reported the initial plan was to start with the strongest boys first, but the plan seems to have been reversed with the weakest boys rescued first, according to Thai media and the BBC.

The boys were taken straight to hospital.

Australian Federal Police and Defence Force divers, along with Australian cave diver and anesthetist Richard Harris, 53, are part of the team continuing to work on extracting the remaining members of the team.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told the Nine network that Harris had been involved in the boys’ medical assessment, helping determine which boys would first swim out of the cave.

13 foreign divers and five Thai navy SEALs are working in pairs to guide the boys, aged 11-16, through the cave’s winding chambers. Bishop said some Australian divers formed part of a “daisy chain” of rescuers which guided the first four boys to safety.

“It’s highly dangerous, it’s very precarious and our thoughts are not only with the boys but also with the diving and rescue teams that are assisting,” Bishop told the Nine network on Monday.

Efforts are expected to restart on Monday as low water levels in the cave have provided a brief window for a safer rescue. Eight boys and their soccer coach remain in the cave.

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