It is now the third day since the boys were located in the cave in northern Thailand.
They are still trapped in the cave, but now have foil blankets, food, light, medical care and seven navy divers – including medics – to keep them company.
Rescue efforts, which involve multiple international teams and hundreds of people, are proceeding on three separate fronts.
Plan A is to teach the boys to dive so that they can dive out of the cave escorted by navy divers, and the governor reported that the boys have begun doing practice dives in the cave.
Plan B is to drain the cave system so that the children can walk out of the caves wearing life jackets meaning they don’t need to dive.
Authorities have announced they have reduced the water levels in the first section of the cave – a 1.5km stretch from the entrance to a point they are calling chamber three – by 40%. It is now possible to walk through the water up to chamber three.
Plan C is to drill down to the cave where the boys are stranded and rescue them that way. The governor earlier ruled out drilling as an option because the boys are between 800m and 1km below the surface and in a confined space, so it was not thought to be safe.
Monsoon rains are expected to arrive over the weekend. If they arrive before the boys have been freed, rising water levels could means the boys are trapped in the cave and cut off from supplies and communication for four months.
Chiang Rai provincial governor Narongsak Osatanakorn said they were in a “race against time” and were evaluating risk levels to assess when they should evacuate rescue teams, given the predicted rainfall later this week.