This is the miracle moment 12 schoolboys and their football coach were found alive at the bottom of a cave in Thailand following a nine-day ordeal.

The group disappeared after going on a hiking trip in the cave shortly before it was hit by flash-flooding, leaving them trapped underground.

Nearly 900 soldiers and emergency personnel, including elite military divers and British rescue workers, were called in to find the children.

The boys can be seen in footage from the Thai Navy Seals shivering in the darkness after eventually being located.

A rescue worker with an English accent can be heard saying "brilliant" after realising he has found all the boys alive.

He then reassures them by promising "many people are coming" and praises them as "very strong".

The children appear nervous and frightened as they are discovered by the rescue team.

The children, aged 11 to 16, vanished with their coach a week ago on Saturday.

The youngsters, from the Wild Boars football team, were later seen with beaming smiles in photos taken by military divers who found them.

The rescue workers can also be seen cheering and relatives even held a mass prayer session after hearing the good news.

The rescue mission began when the boys’ bikes and football boots were found at the mouth of the caves.

The boys were trapped by rising waters inside the cave network deep inside a mountain.

"Thai Navy seals have found all 13 with signs of life," regional governor Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters.

For around half a mile, the cave is wide open with spectacular limestone rock formations.

But deeper in, the the network narrows and signs warn visitors not to venture further during the rainy season, which usually begins in July, because it is prone to flooding.

A national park ranger alerted authorities when he found their footwear and bikes near the entrance to the cave, but no sign of the children.

Thai Navy Seals experts swam three miles into the cave network looking for the children before finding them through a previously murky and inaccessible cavern.

A Royal Thai Navy commander overseeing the search previously said he was hopeful the 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach would be rescued.

"I believe they’re all still alive but they might be exhausted… we should get good news," Rear Admiral Arparkorn Yookongkaew previously told Reuters.

The search effort, which involved helicopters and drones, was initially hampered by heavy rainfall, while oxygen levels inside the cave reached dangerously low levels.

"The team went down to a depth of 5 metres (16 feet) and found a large chamber… but we’ve found no trace of the children," the Thai Navy said on its Facebook page after the first day of the search proved fruitless.

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