Twelve Thai boys trapped in a cave have exchanged emotional letters with their parents, for the first time since their ordeal began two weeks ago.
“Don’t worry, we are all strong,” one child said in a note. “Teacher, don’t give us lots of homework!” he joked.
The football coach who took the boys into the cave apologised to parents, but they wrote he was not to blame.
Officials say that they have a window of up to four days before rains will make the rescue more difficult.
The boys were exploring the cave when they became trapped by floodwaters on 23 June.
The boys were found inside the cave by British rescue divers on Monday, 10 days after they went missing. They were perched on a rock shelf in a small chamber about 4km (2.5 miles) from the cave mouth.
Teams of Thai and international divers have since supplied them with food, oxygen and medical attention.
There are concerns about the falling oxygen level in the chamber, but officials say an air line into the cave has now been installed.
The danger of their situation became clear when a former Thai navy diver died after delivering air tanks to the group on Friday.
Above ground, a huge military and civilian operation is racing against the clock to bring the boys out. Monsoon rains are threatening further flooding in the coming weeks and month. (Excerpts from BBC)