An worldwide team of divers, including the Thai Navy SEALS, had to make sure the boys knew how to swim - it took divers five hours just to reach the point where the boys had hunkered down.
A helicopter delivered the boys and their coach to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital in Chiang Rai, the closest city to the cave complex, where the 12 boys and their coach were reunited on a dedicated floor.
A group of men who had been helping pump water out of the cave for the past two weeks share a meal at a restaurant in Chiang Rai while watching news of the third and final rescue.
The drama in Thailand has even resonated as far as Russian Federation, where soccer's World Cup is reaching its final stages.
When the Wild Boars football team was located deep inside the cave, after being missing for a week, the Adelaide anaesthetist abandoned his holiday in Thailand and volunteered to help.
"All are safe", they added, then signed off with what has become their trademark "Hooyah" that they used to celebrate the successful extractions of the other eight boys over the previous two days.
Thai officials are expected to hold a news conference on Wednesday to provide updates on the health of the 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach. "If I see him, I just want to hug him and tell him that I missed him very much", she said. A former Thai Navy diver lost his life while on a re-supply mission inside the cave to support the rescue.
The most unsafe part of the journey out of the labyrinth cave system is the first kilometer, during which they are required to squeeze through a narrow flooded channel.
Two of the boys had suspected lung infections but the four boys from the first group rescued were all walking around their hospital beds.
Walker tweeted: "Amazing news that all of the Thai kids are out of the cave safely! FIFA's priority remains the health of everyone involved in the operation and we will look into finding a new opportunity to invite the boys to a Federation Internationale de Football Association event to share with them a moment of communion and celebration".
Parents of the first four boys freed on Sunday have been able to visit them but had to wear protective suits and stand 2 meters (7 feet) away as a precaution.
The 53-year-old gave up a family holiday and made his way to Northern Thailand, where he scuba dived 4km through cold, dark and narrow passages to reach the boys and assessed them as medically fit to attempt the risky escape mission. They underwent X-rays and blood tests and will remain under observation in the hospital for at least seven days.
When the first four were rescued, one of the first things they asked was how the tournament was going.
Club president Luis Filipe Vieira wrote to the Thai ambassador to Portugal to invite the boys to the camp in Seixal across the River Tagus from the capital, a club statement said on Tuesday. Each of the nine chambers had a doctor waiting, and the boys were evaluated at each chamber.
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