A Thai navy diver working as part of the rescue team to rescue 12 Thai soccer players and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave (read here) has died from a lack of oxygen.Samarn Kunan, a former Thai SEAL, was working in a volunteer capacity and died during an overnight mission in which he was placing oxygen canisters. Thai SEAL commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew said while underwater, the rescuer passed out and efforts to resuscitate the 38-year-old failed.
Samarn’s body has been sent to Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok and will be flown to his hometown in Roi Et for a royally-sponsored funeral, the Thai king announced.
Kunan’s final Facebook post was a picture of him proudly posing with his comrades at the mouth of the Than Luang cave where the boys are trapped with their coach. His death highlights the dangers of the rescue operation, especially the plan to try to teach the inexperienced youngsters how to dive so they can swim out of the cave.