"Despite this, we will continue until we accomplish our mission", Arpakorn vowed. It is only a small battle we've won, but the war has not ended.
The US official said a plan to route oxygen into the chamber where the boys are was also called off due to challenge of routing cable through cave system.
"Don't be anxious, I miss everyone". Grandpa, uncle, mum dad, and siblings I love you all.
Thai Navy SEALS and dozens of volunteer rescue workers have worked around the clock funnelling food and oxygen into the cave and trying to train the soccer team and their coach to dive with heavy scuba gear on their backs.
Another, identified as Tun, wrote: "Mom and Dad, please don't worry, I am fine". We love and have concern for you.
"I talk to them every day, if they'd like us to take the kids out, it has to be in the minimum risk", he said. "But don't worry. But don't forget my birthday".
Thailand's junta leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha visits the site and leads a meditation, jokes and cooks with relatives, asking them not to give up hope.
A massive rescue operation is underway, with high-powered pumps working round-the-clock to reduce the water level inside the cave, while rescue experts weigh their options to extract the kids.
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The boys' soccer coach, Akkapol Chanthawong, also wrote a letter to their parents apologizing for what happened and vowing to keep them safe. I'm happy being here inside, the navy SEALS have taken good care.
Nattawut "Tle" Takamsai, 14, bravely assured his family that he can take care of himself; while Ekkarat "Bill" Wongsookchan, 14, promised his parents to help them at the shop. "I have been away for two weeks but will come back and help you sell your stuff". But the death of a rescue team member, and the realization that oxygen levels have fallen to potentially unsafe levels, appears to have forced a reassessment of the situation.
Meanwhile, the coach has offered his "apologies to the parents" of the boys in a scrawled note released by the Thai Navy.
Rescuers have been unable to extend a hose pumping oxygen all the way to where the boys are, but have brought them some oxygen tanks.
He also wrote to his own family members - an aunt and his grandmother - asking them not to worry too much about him.
At a press conference late Friday evening, the regional governor said that there is a window of three to four days to prepare the boys to get out. "If it reaches a certain level, it could harm our body, no matter how much oxygen there is in the air", Osottanakorn said.
A former Thai navy SEAL has died during the rescue effort while diving in flooded passageways to deliver oxygen supplies.
"Assessing the situation now, it is necessary to evacuate the area for the rescue operation", Mae Sai police commander Komsan Sa-ardluan said.
The strategically placed canisters allow divers to stay underwater longer during the five-hour trip to reach the stranded team.
"Our main priority at this moment is to pray for the safe rescue of them all and wish for their speedy recovery as soon as possible", the letter read.