Thailand cave rescue: Recap of afternoon's events as final mission officially underway

Relive all the afternoon's drama from the Tham Luang cave as day three of the rescue began. Click here for 1 NEWS NOW's live updates.

The story so far:

* Eight students have been rescued from the cave system and taken to hospital

The Tesla founder had the sub made to help rescuers saving the young footballers. Source: 1 NEWS

* Four students and their football coach remain trapped in the cave 

* The four remaining boys and their football coach are all expected to be rescued today

* 19 divers entered the cave at 10.08am today, with more divers to enter gradually throughout the day

6.19pm: The rescued boys are undergoing further tests, and have been kept away from TVs in order to not affect their mental health, the Guardian reports.

6.15pm: "Today is 10 July 2018. It will be longer than previous ones. We will celebrate together! Hooyah!" the Thai Navy Seals involved in the rescue operation posted to Facebook.

6.13pm: Families have vowed to wait at the cave entrance until all of the boys, and their coach, have been freed from the cave, CNN reports.

5.59pm: Four ambulances and a convoy of other vehicles arrived at the cave site Tuesday morning as rain hit the region, the Associated Press reports.

The rescue chief has politely dismissed help from SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who has spent several days designing and building a small submarine to aid the rescue effort, the Guardian reports.

"Although his technology is good and sophisticated it's not practical for this mission," Narongsak Osatanakorn said.

5.21pm: 19 divers entered the cave at 10.08am today, with more to enter gradually throughout the day, thee Guardian reports.

Torrential rain had not affected conditions for the rescue operation.

"If everything goes right, we will see four kids and a doctor and Seals that have stayed with the kids will all come out," the governor said. "Four plus one coach, so it's five."

5.16pm: The first mission, on Sunday, took 11 hours, while Monday's mission took nine hours, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Today's mission is expected to take "equal to or better than yesterday if we don't have any abnormal factors," Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said.

5.02pm: 19 divers are involved in the rescue mission, and expect to rescue the remaining four boys and their coach.

4.58pm: The operation began at 10.08 this morning (local time), 1 NEWS reports. 

SpaceX and Boring Company founder Elon Musk's submarine will not be used during the rescue mission.

4.46pm: Whether all five of the boys and their coach still trapped in the cave will be rescued today is "down to weather conditions and our plan," Narongsak Osatanakorn said yesterday night, the Guardian reports.

"We've set a plan for four but if we want to rescue five, those responsible will have to adjust the plan. We can't overrule the diving team because it involves safety."

4.40pm: The 25-year-old coach who remains trapped inthe cave has been using his experience as a Buddhist monk to keep the boys calm and encouraging meditation, Nine reports. 

He has reportedly also been sharing his portion of food with them during their 17th day underground.

The third day of the rescue mission has reportedly begun at 11am today (local time).

The rescued boys have been set up with IV drips and antibiotics, as well as receiving vaccines for tetanus and rabies, the Guardian reports.

4:15pm: The boys are still wearing sunglasses as a precaution after spending two weeks in total darkness, the Guardian says. 

Their diet has been upgraded from diluted porridge to bread and chocolate - their two requests this morning.

4.13pm: The boys will miss the World Cup as they will spend seven days in hospital following their ordeal, the Guardian reports. 

Two boys have minor lung infections and one had a fever, doctors have said.

The BBC has released an infographic on how the boys and their football coach are being rescued.

4.00pm: Two of the boys are experiencing irregularities in their lungs, with the medical team suspecting they may have pneumonia, Channel News Asia reports.

3.52pm: All eight of the boys rescued have low body temperatures and are malnourished but are otherwise doing well, ITV China reports.

3.46pm:Doctors are setting up a phone line so the boys in hospital can speak with their parents, the Guardian reports.

The youngest child, Chanin Wiboonrunreung, and 25-year-old football coach Ekaphol Chantawong, are still inside.

3.40pm: Former Chiang Rai governor and rescue mission commander Narongsak Osotthanakorn said on Monday night (local time) that it would take 20 hours to prepare for the third rescue operation, CNN reports.

1 NEWS’ Kimberlee Downs has the latest from Chiang Rai. Source: Breakfast

3.38pm: The boys appear to be in good health and their medical care is more of a precaution, CNN reports.

3.36pm: The boys requested chocolate after being freed.

3.34pm: The children have not been interviewed, CNN says. 

The boys' first words after being freed from the cave was that they miss their homes and are glad.

3.33pm: The boys' fevers are said to have gone down, CNN reports. 

They also have minor scratches possibly caused by tree branches.

3.30pm: The first four boys to be rescued, aged between 12 and 16, have now been seen by their parents through glass, the Guardian reports. 

The other four boys will likely see their parents today. 

Two of the boys are currently being treated for minor lung infections. 

3.25pm: The rescued boys have been separated, where they have been quarantined in the same area of the hospital, CNN says.

3.23pm: The boys and their football coach are expected to be hospitalised for at least one week, CNN reports.

3.20pm: Three ambulances along with cars, hummers and soldiers have been seen entering the cave site where rescuers have been carrying out a high-stakes operation to bring out trapped members of a youth soccer team, reports Associated Press. 

Heavy rains lashed the northern Thai region late yesterday and a steady downpour has continued into today.

After divers brought out four of the boys Monday morning (NZT), authorities indicated the rescue operation would continue for a third day. But they also warned heavy rain could hamper their efforts.

The rescue missions take nearly half a day to complete. Today's mission took about nine hours, two fewer than yesterday's.

Four more boys were rescued overnight after the first four emerged yesterday. Source: Breakfast

So far eight of the boys have been rescued. The team's 25-year-old coach and four boys are still deep inside the flooded and sprawling cave.