A retired member of the Navy SEAL unit died in Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district early Friday (July 6) while on a mission to rescue the 12 footballers and their coach stranded in the cave since June 23, Wassana Nanuam, a military beat reporter of the Bangkok Post newspaper, posted on the Facebook on Friday morning.
He was identified as Warrant Office (First Class) Saman Kunan, 38, a who finished a SEAL training course in the 30th batch. After retiring from the Navy, he worked in a security patrol unit of the Suvarnabhumi airport under the Airports of Thailand Plc.
Saman was recalled to join the Navy SEAL team in the search and rescue operation at Tham Luang cave in the Tham Luang – Khun Nam Nang Non National Park in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district.
According to Ms Wassana’s posting, on July 5 Saman was assigned to deliver air tanks from the third chamber, the SEAL’s forward headquarters, through the inundated passageway to the T-junction, a spot from which a passageway leads to the so-called Pattaya Beach and then Noen Nom Sao where the trapped 13 were found.
He left the third chamber at 8.37pm. After delivering the air tanks to the T-junction and while returning to the third chamber, he became unconscious while under water. His diving mates performed a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on him but he remained unconscious.
Saman was brought to the third chamber where he underwent another round of first-aid treatment but the attempt to save his life was not successful. He was pronounced dead at about 1 am on Friday.
His body was brought to the cave entrance and subsequently delivered to Phaya Mengrai Maharat Military Camp in Chiang Rai.