Navy chief praises Thai Navy SEALs in special citation

The commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy, Admiral Naris Prathumsuwan, has praised the bravery and dedication of the Thai Navy SEALs and naval medical staff for their performance in the rescue operation to help the 12 Wild Boars footballers and their coach out of the Tham Luang cave and in the search and rescue of the victims from the sunken Phoenix boat in the rough sea off Phuket earlier this month.

He also singled out  Rear Admiral Arpakorn Yookongkaew, commander of the Thai Navy SEAL, and Special Captain Anan Surawan, commander of the First Special Warfare Corps of the Naval Special Warfare Command for special praises. Members of both units played a crucial role in the Tham Luang rescue mission.

In a citation formally issued on July 13 and posted on the Thai Navy SEAL webpage yesterday.  It said that altogether 127 SEAL members and 32-member medical team took part in the hazardous rescue operation to extract the 13 survivors out of the flooded cave.   Navy divers and personnel also spearheaded the mission to search and rescue Chinese tourists after their diving boat, the Phoenix, sank off Phuket.

Petty officer Samarn Kunan who died during the rescue operation was praised for his bravery and sacrifice.  His rank was posthumously promoted to that of lieutenant commander.