The boys, aged 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach went exploring in the cave after a soccer game June 23. Monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days. Getting to safety requires a roughly five-hour dive through murky waters and suffocatingly narrow passageways - hard for even experienced divers - to a point closer to the mouth of the cave where the group could be brought out on stretchers.
The governor in charge of the rescue said Saturday that the co-operating weather and falling water levels over the last few days had created conditions for removing the team from the cave that won't continue if it rains again. If heavy rain causes massive flooding inside, an early extraction will take place, according to Narongsak.
"We are at peak readiness". It is only a small battle we've won, but the war has not ended.
"Once we confirm what exactly will be helpful to send or do, we will".
The warning came a day after a Thai diver died during part of the rescue operation, a deadly turn in what started out as a celebration of one of the boys' birthdays at the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Chiang Rai province.
The handwritten notes include requests for food, including fried chicken.
One of the boys told his parents "Don't worry about me".
"I love you father and mother and Toy".
Hundreds of rescuers, mostly Thai Navy SEALs, are working to provide those trapped in the cave with all necessary supplies while pumping water out of the complex.
"Once his mission was over he dove back, but in the middle of their return his buddy found Samarn unconscious in the water and tried to pump his heart, but he could not save his life", the SEAL unit said in a statement.
"Don't worry, I'm fine. I miss everyone and I want to go home quickly".
"Don't worry about me, I'm safe." a boy nicknamed Pong said. Teachers, please don't give them too much homework.
The rescue team, made up of a mixture of both foreign and Thai expert divers, have apparently now reached the boys and are preparing the first for the journey out.
"To all the parents, all the kids are still fine". I promise I will care for the kids as best as possible.
"Thank you for all the moral support and I apologise to the parents". The 13 are having health evaluations and rehabilitation, and are being taught diving skills.
"His job was to deliver oxygen".
The death of former Thai navy SEAL Saman Gunan underscored those risks.
Authorities are also continuing to look for other ways out for the boys - including drilling through the cave so they can be extracted without making the perilous five-hour dive all the way to the cave's entrance through narrow, pitch-dark passageways filled with muddy water.
On Friday, Tesla founder Elon Musk said he was sending teams from his SpaceX company and Boring Co. engineering firm, which is developing tunneling systems.
Late Friday, Thai officials were still trying to come up with a workable extraction plan for the group trapped for almost two weeks deep inside the cavern, stoking fears that all available options remain too risky.