He said he hoped the rescue mission, which would begin with 19 divers and include more throughout the day, would proceed even faster than Monday's nine-hour operation. But heavy rain overnight has increased the danger that the water levels in the caves will rise further, adding to the hazards of diving and potentially threatening the elevated bank of sand on which the football team are stranded.
He posted photos of the cave interior and a video showing members of the rescue team working their way through chest-high water.
The Thai Navy SEAL wrote on Facebook on Tuesday it's expecting day three's rescue operations to be longer than previous days. But the rains cleared during the day, a reassuring sign for rescuers who have feared that wet weather could imperil the rescue.
Musk had offered mini submarine, named Wild Boar after the kids' football team, to help in the rescue operation.
Rescuers had planned to keep the team where they were until they could find a safe way to get them out - keeping them supplied until the rainy season ended in October was a possibility. HE said the eight boys rescued are in "high spirits" and have strong immune systems because they are soccer players. "The equipment they brought to help us is not practical with our mission", the publication also quoted him as saying.
Then on Tuesday afternoon multiple sources involved in the operation said three more had been escorted out.
He said hunger for details had pushed the Thai media to great lengths in covering the rescue, with one outlet under investigation for flying a drone in military airspace and another not only intercepting but broadcasting army communications.
Jedsada Chokdumrongsuk, permanent secretary at the Public Health Ministry, said the first four boys rescued, aged 12 to 16, are now able to eat normal food.
It took three missions over three days for a crack team of divers to guide the group one-by-one through the 4-kilometre-long labyrinth.
The 12 boys and their coach entered the cave on June 23 after soccer practice and were subsequently trapped by rising floodwaters.
He added that the boys were also wearing dive suits while being carried on stretchers and that their masks were removed by medical staff at the makeshift hospital. They did get a treat, however: bread with chocolate spread that they'd requested. Rescue officials were hopeful that the final four boys and their coach would be rescued Tuesday.
The rescued boys are being quarantined in case any of them contracted infections while inside the cave.
Although there have been no major reported complications during the initial rescues, the death of a former Thai Navy SEAL diver who ran out of oxygen in a flooded area of the cave on Friday underscored the dangers of the journey.
Before the rescue mission began, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk tweeted that he was designing an "escape pod" built from "the liquid oxygen transfer tube" of a SpaceX Falcon rocket that could be used as a submarine.