Rescuers work on July 9, 2018, near the cave where 12 young soccer team members and their coach were trapped in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Four boys out of a total of 12 young soccer team members and their coach have been rescued after being trapped in a cave in northern Thailand for more than two weeks, a Thai official in charge of the rescue operation told reporters Sunday. 

A Marion man is lending his skills in Thailand to help rescue 12 boys and their coach trapped inside a cave.

Thanet Ntisri is a crucial part of the rescue mission that, as of Monday morning, had saved eight out of 12 boys from the inside of an underwater cave, according to KFVS news.

The boys, ranging in age from 11-16, have been trapped in the cave system since June 23, after heavy rains flooded the network.

Ntisri, who is originally from Thailand, is a groundwater expert and also co-owns the restaurant THAI-D with his wife, Yada Natisriin, in Marion.

According to the restaurant's Facebook page, Ntisri is in charge of maintaining the water level inside the cave.

"He pumps the water out of the cave and leads the exploration team to stop the water from entering the cave through sinkholes," the post said.

According to KFVS News, Natisri was doing charity work in Thailand when the 12 soccer players and their coach became trapped in the cave by floodwaters.

As of Monday morning, eight boys had been rescued from inside the cave.

Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6

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