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What we know about the Thai soccer team trapped in a cave and their upcoming rescue

Click to play video 'Thailand cave rescuers, soccer team face life-or-death dilemma' Thailand cave rescuers, soccer team face life-or-death dilemma
WATCH: Thailand cave rescuers, soccer team face life-or-death dilemma – Jul 4, 2018

It’s been 12 days since a young soccer team and their coach were trapped deep in a Thai cavern during a group outing.

The Wild Boar soccer team was found nine days later, to the wonder and relief of the whole world.

IN PHOTOS: Rescue teams slog through mud, pouring rain to reach boys trapped in Thai cave

The team ranges in ages from 11-16 with their 25-year-old coach Ekapol “Aek” Chanthawong. They were known for their post-soccer outings. One parent told the Associated Press Aek took the boys swimming in nearby waterfalls or cycling in the region.

Here’s what we know about the incident.

Where are they?

On June 23, the team walked into the caves Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province, about 825 kilometres north of Bangkok.

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The caves have narrow passageways and large chambers that stretch for up to 10 kilometres under a mountain.

The group was exploring the caves when a flash flood trapped them, one rescuer told Sky News.

They are currently about four kilometres from the entrance, on a muddy, elevated rock, surrounded by water.

They are about one kilometre deep under the mountain.

Coverage of the Thai boys trapped in a cave on Globalnews.ca:

Who found them?

On July 2, a team of divers including Thai navy SEALS and two British divers found them.

They were weak from lack of food, but video from the cave shows they were healthy, though in one video a SEAL is seen treating minor cuts with ointment.

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The Thai navy has been sending them high-protein food and the boys seem like they are in good spirits.

Since then a doctor and nurse have joined the group.

Other supplies like blankets have also been provided.

WATCH: New video shows doctors treating boys stuck inside cave in Thailand

Click to play video 'New video shows doctors treating boys stuck inside cave in Thailand' New video shows doctors treating boys stuck inside cave in Thailand
New video shows doctors treating boys stuck inside cave in Thailand – Jul 4, 2018

How will they be rescued?

The boys are currently getting crash courses in diving and swimming, but it’s unclear if they will be extracted from the cave that way.

Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said Wednesday that while the team has been practicing with masks, he doesn’t believe they have attempted any practice dives.

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READ MORE: Can a group of boys learn enough about diving to escape a Thai cave? Yes, says one dive master

He said it’s unlikely the boys will be able to escape immediately because any extraction has to be “100 per cent safe.”

Mermaid Subsea Services in Bangkok told the Guardian it is helping to supply the government with masks.

It reportedly took three hours for the divers to go from the entrance to the location of the Thai boys.

Some spots require a 30 metre deep scuba dive, others spots are so narrow the scuba tanks had to be taken off, which means it would be a difficult dive for the inexperienced teenagers.

WATCH: Rescue of Thai boys trapped in Thailand cave enters day 12

Click to play video 'Rescue of Thai boys trapped in Thailand cave enters day 12' Rescue of Thai boys trapped in Thailand cave enters day 12
Rescue of Thai boys trapped in Thailand cave enters day 12 – Jul 4, 2018

Another option is just to wait until the rain recedes, either naturally or by pumping water out of the cave system.

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Officials have dismissed this option, though they have stockpiled food and supplies for an extended stay of up to four months. (The rainy season in Thailand typically lasts until October.)

But that could be dangerous as more monsoon rains could continue for extended periods of time.

The government is also scouring the mountainside to find another way into the caves, but as the boys are trapped more than one kilometre under the mountain, that is a dangerous option.

READ MORE: Thai boys trapped in cave remain in good spirits, smile and joke with rescuers

Weather is a factor

Thailand’s rainy season typically lasts from July until October. During this time, even elite Thai navy SEAL divers were finding it difficult to move through the muddy waters, currents and tight passageways.

More monsoon rains are on the way.

After a break in the weather in recent days, the Thai Meteorological Department forecast for Chiang Rai calls for light rain through Friday followed by heavy rain starting Saturday and continuing through July 10.

Such storms could raise water levels in the cave again and complicate the supply missions or any potential extrication, if one was needed.

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About 120 million liters of water had been pumped out by late on Tuesday, or about 1.6 million every hour.

WATCH: What’s next for rescuers trying to save children trapped in a cave in Thailand?

Click to play video 'What’s next for rescuers trying to save children trapped in a cave in Thailand?' What’s next for rescuers trying to save children trapped in a cave in Thailand?
What’s next for rescuers trying to save children trapped in a cave in Thailand? – Jul 4, 2018

–with files from Reuters and the Associated Press

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