The boys and their coach, all from the "Wild Boars" soccer team, became trapped by rainy season floodwater on June 23rd when they had set out to explore the vast cave complex after soccer practice.
Cave-diving experts had warned it was potentially too risky to dive the youngsters out.
Authorities then gathered 90 divers, 50 of them foreigners, to help extract the boys out of a claustrophobic tunnel network that in some places was completely filled with water and so narrow that they could only be squeezed through. A massive water pumping effort also made the winding cave more navigable.
Trained divers from the U.S., the U.K., Canada and elsewhere flew to Thailand to offer their expertise and help escort the team out through the flooded cave passages.
"MUFC is relieved to learn that the 12 footballers and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand are now safe", Manchester United have said in a statement. If they're chloroformed, how could they come out? "This news is the greatest news!"
Jesada said the first four taken out are eating well.
Rescuers working at a cave site in northern Thailand have suspended operations for the day after bringing four more boys out of the flooded cave system on Monday.
Some of the children rescued even had a typical kid's request at the hospital after being trapped without food for so long - bread with chocolate spread.
A second mission, which rescued another four boys, commenced on Monday, July 9. "Everyone is in high spirits and is happy to get out. But we will have a psychiatrist to evaluate them".
The boys and their coach have now all been taken to hospital after the three-day evacuation that was a battle against heavy, predicted rain.
It was clear doctors were taking a cautious approach. They have had to stay away from their parents and other people for fear of infection.
The eight boys who have left the cave are being treated in an isolation ward in a Chiang Rai hospital.
John Tangkitcharoenthawon, a local village chairman, was bursting with happiness over the successful rescue.
President Donald Trump hailed the rescue. "Such a attractive moment - all freed, great job!"
The Thai football team rescued from a cave after 17 days underground will not attend the World Cup final due to medical reasons, FIFA has confirmed.