A former Navy SEAL and combat swimmer said that the dangerous and harrowing rescue of a soccer team trapped in a flooded Thailand cave was comparable to climbing the tallest mountain in the world.

Jake Zweig said on "Fox & Friends" that he was confident in the SEALs working to rescue the 12 boys and their coach, but that there is a possibility of a rescuer losing his life.

Several of the boys emerged from the cave on Sunday, about eight hours after 18 divers began their operation to free them.

The group had been trapped in the flooded cavern for more than two weeks after exploring it following a practice game.


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Zweig said that the difficult rescue mission was comparable to climbing Mount Everest.

"In this situation, if you get in trouble under the water, you can't come up to the surface," he said. "That's what poses all the problems."

The boys, ranging in age from 11 to 16 years old, and their 25-year-old coach had been exploring in the cave after a practice game June 23.

Monsoon flooding had initially cut off their escape, and rescuers were unable to find them for more than a week.

"People don't understand how much gear these guys have," Zweig said of the rescuers. "They’re not just swimming the whole time. They're climbing rocks, they're getting out and walking. ... There's a whole lot of stages to this mission just like climbing Mount Everest."

The Thai Navy said Saturday that three SEALs, one a doctor, were with the boys and coach.

The team and coach were taught diving skills Saturday in advance of their trek out of the cave.

Food, water, electrolyte drinks, medicine and oxygen were also delivered to the trapped group.

Watch the interview above.


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