The images on Thailand TV are ominous: Bikes, sneakers, and backpacks left outside a well-known—and dangerous—cave. They belong to 12 boys on a youth soccer team and their coach, who have all been missing since entering the cave system on Saturday afternoon, reports the AP. The boys, ages 11 to 15, and their coach are believed to have been trapped by rising water in the cave in Chiang Rai province, and a naval team has been searching for two days now. Searchers have found footprints and handprints and say they think the group of 13 is still alive.
"I believe they're all still alive but they might be exhausted," a navy commander tells Reuters. Adds a father of one of the missing boys: "Right now, our family is hoping that the children trapped inside will have formed a group and are safe and waiting for officials to go in and save them in time." The cave complex in northern Thailand is a popular spot for tourists and local explorers and extends nearly 2 miles in some places, notes CNN. However, it can flood quickly during the rainy season, generally from June to October. (Read more soccer team stories.)