As the minutes stretched into hours under the hot sun in this corner of north-western Thailand bordering Myanmar, hopes were rising that news of a third successful rescue by the so-called "all-star" team of Thai and worldwide divers - which included as many as eight Australians in support roles - was imminent.
Each of the rescued boys has been guided through the dark winding cave by a pair of divers.
An Australian doctor at the centre of the effort to rescue a group of boys and their football coach trapped in a cave in Thailand's Chiang Rai province convinced Thai officials to change their rescue plans and get the weakest boys out first. Another two more boys left the cave complex a short time later followed by the fourth boy.
On Tuesday morning the first four boys rescued over the weekend were given bread and chocolate after asking for some of their favorite dishes from home.
The four boys who were recovered on Sunday are now eating normal food, Jedsada said. They began again at 11 am on Monday after the teams had stopped for the night to rest and to replenish equipment and oxygen supplies.
"It is certainly a risk and can take some time to manifest itself and make its presence known", said Andrew Watson, a specialist on rescues from mines and floods trapped.
A Thai public health official says the eight boys rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand are in "high spirits" and have strong immune systems because they are soccer players. They eventually found a dry landing spot, where they waited for nine days before being found by two British divers.
Dr Richard Harris, 53, an anaesthetist from Adelaide, undertook the risky dive to reach the boys and their coach last Saturday, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.
They'll be allowed to enter the room if tests show the boys are free of infection.
3rd Thai cave rescue mission underway
Monday's rescue effort took about nine hours, two fewer than the day before, in a sign of growing confidence and expertise. The boys have been in the cave since June 23 when they were exploring the cave and unexpected rain flooded the tunnels.
4.24pm: The rescued boys have been set up with IV drips and antibiotics, as well as receiving vaccines for tetanus and rabies, the Guardian reports.
So far eight of the boys have been rescued.
The boys will remain in quarantine because of a fear of infection, and it's understood they have only been able to speak to family members through a window.
Authorities then gathered 90 divers, 50 of them foreigners, to help extract the boys out of a claustrophobic tunnel network that in some places was completely filled with water and so narrow that they could only be squeezed through.
Weather forecasters warned heavy rain could hit the area through the week.
'The equipment they brought to help us is not practical with our mission'.
The distance from where the crew is trapped to the main entrance is about a half a mile, and the boys had to travel most of that distance underwater to reach freedom.
"Doctors have treated the boys and now all of them are OK and cheerful".
Authorities sent in the rescue teams for the third and final stage of retrieving the children trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non on Tuesday morning.