Thai cave rescue: All 12 boys and soccer coach freed

Updated 5:10 PM EDT, Tue July 10, 2018
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CHIANG RAI, THAILAND - JULY 18:  Twelve boys and their coach from the "Wild Boars" soccer team arrive for a press conference for the first time since they were rescued from a cave in northern Thailand last week, on July 18, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The 12 boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach were discharged early from Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital after a speedy recovery and thanked those involved in their rescue. (Photo by Linh Pham/Getty Images)
Linh Pham/Getty Images
CHIANG RAI, THAILAND - JULY 18: Twelve boys and their coach from the "Wild Boars" soccer team arrive for a press conference for the first time since they were rescued from a cave in northern Thailand last week, on July 18, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The 12 boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach were discharged early from Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital after a speedy recovery and thanked those involved in their rescue. (Photo by Linh Pham/Getty Images)
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An ambulance leaves the Tham Luang cave area after divers evacuated some of the 12 boys and their coach trapped at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 8, 2018. - Elite divers on July 8 began the extremely dangerous operation to extract 12 boys and their football coach who have been trapped in a flooded cave complex in northern Thailand for more than two weeks, as looming monsoon rains threatened the rescue effort. (Photo by LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) /         (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images
An ambulance leaves the Tham Luang cave area after divers evacuated some of the 12 boys and their coach trapped at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 8, 2018. - Elite divers on July 8 began the extremely dangerous operation to extract 12 boys and their football coach who have been trapped in a flooded cave complex in northern Thailand for more than two weeks, as looming monsoon rains threatened the rescue effort. (Photo by LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) / (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
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(CNN) —  

The last remaining member of the Wild Boars soccer team and their assistant 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 and captivated audiences around the world.

The 12th 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.

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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, a 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 Tuesday (11 p.m. Monday ET), 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.