On 23 June, 12 school boys and their soccer coach found themselves trapped in a Thai cave due to rising flood waters.
Today, 8 July, a rescue mission to free them officially began.
According to Reuters, 13 foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit have embarked on their mission to bring the boys out of the cave through narrow, submerged passageways.
This operation comes days after the death of Thai navy diver Petty Officer Saman Gunan, who lost consciousness on his way out of the Tham Luang cave on 5 July, BBC reported.
"Our readiness is at the highest today. Today is D-Day," said Chiang Rai's governor Narongsak Osottanakorn
"We have two obstacles: water and time. This is what we have been racing against since day one. We have to do all we can, even though it is hard to fight the force of nature," said Osotthanakorn.
The governor revealed that the boys could start to emerge as early as 9 pm on Sunday, but that there was "no time limit."
In an effort to keep their parents in high spirits, the boys wrote them encouraging letters in the hours leading up to the rescue mission
"Please don't worry, we're all healthy and strong," said the boys in a collective message before each of them wrote a personal message to their loved ones, according to New Straits Times.
"There's so much food we want to eat when we get out. We want to go straight home," the boys wrote.
Keeping the mood of the letter light, the note also read, "Teachers, please don't give too much homework."
The parents also wrote letters to their children, telling them that they were greatly missed and urging them to remain strong.
"We are waiting to throw you a birthday party," wrote the parents of Pheeraphat Sompiengjai, the team's right winger who turned 16 years old on the day the boys first entered the cave.
The parents also wrote to the team's 25-year-old coach, telling him not to blame himself for the incident and thanking him for taking care of the children until they were found.