UPDATE: Submerged cave rescue of schoolboys and soccer coach underway in Thailand

Thai navy SEALs said rescuers had taken at four members of a youth soccer team out of the cave where they had been trapped for more than two weeks, as part of an operation to rescue the 12 boys and their coach.

As of 10 o'clock eastern on Sunday, some reports have been saying as many as six of the boys had had made it to safety. That number has not yet been confirmed. 

The operation to rescue the boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach by having them dive out of the flooded cave began Sunday morning, with expert divers entering the sprawling complex for the complicated and dangerous mission.

Chiang Rai province acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is heading the operation, said that 13 foreign and five Thai divers were taking part in the rescue and that two divers would accompany each boy as they're gradually extracted.

Shortly before 8 p.m., the SEALs reported on their official Facebook page that four had been rescued.

The boys and their coach became stranded when they went exploring in the cave after a practice game June 23.

Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days.


-With files from the Associated Press