Military (centre) and civilian police closed off all access to the Tham Luang cave Sunday morning and ordered all "unnecessary personnel" including media to move 2km back as final rescue preparations began. (Reuters photo)
Rescuers have made final preparations to bring the 12 trapped children and their football coach out of the Tham Luang caves.
"Today is D-day. The boys are ready to face any challenges," rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters who were cleared from the cave entrance at mid-morning on Sunday.
"We are at peak readiness."
Scores of divers were seen entering the cave after dawn on Sunday, and shortly afterwards there were orders for "unnecessary personnel" to clear the area to "help victims".
No other information was given, and all media were ordered to retreat 2km from the cave, protesting all the way.
The preparations indicated that officials have abandoned all extraction plans except for helping the boys to swim and dive the approximately 5km from their refuge inside the cave to the outside world.
World experts had weighed in on the problem for days.
Technology guru Elon Musk, who is consulting on possible rescue methods, tweeted that he was considering "a tiny, kid-size submarine" for a rescue.
He added, "Continue to be amazed by the bravery, resilience & tenacity of kids & diving team in Thailand. Human character at its best."
D-Day (noun): a date on which something important is expected to happen (From the name given to 6 June 1944, the day on which the British, US and other armies landed on the beaches of northern France in the Second World War) -
extraction : the act or process of removing or obtaining something from something else - การถอน, การดึงออก
peak (adj): the time when something is at its highest or greatest level - ช่วงเวลาที่หนาแน่น, ช่วงเวลาที่พบมากที่สุด
personnel : the people who are employed in a company, organization or one of the armed forces - บุคลากร, เจ้าหน้าที่, พนักงาน
readiness : a state of being ready and able to deal with what might or will happen - ความพร้อม
refuge : a place where you go to protect yourself from something dangerous or threatening - ที่ลี้ภัย ที่หลบภัย
resilience : the ability of people or things to feel better quickly after something unpleasant, such as shock, injury, etc - ความสามารถในการกลับสู่สภาพเดิม
retreat : to move back or away - ถอยกลับ
submarine : a ship that can travel underwater - เรือดำน้ำ
tenacity : very determined behaviour and is not willing to stop when you are trying to achieve something - ความดื้อรั้น, ความดื้อดึง
unnecessary (adj): not needed; not necessary - ที่ไม่จำเป็น, ที่เกินจำเป็น