Carrying a gray polo shirt and blue, tinted glasses, Samarn Kunan, 38, took a video earlier than boarding a flight on July 1 to hitch Thai and worldwide groups in northern Thailand looking for 12 boys and their soccer coach lacking in a cave.
“See you tonight at Tham Luang,” stated an upbeat Samarn, earlier than signing off on the video clip and setting off for the province of Chiang Rai on the Myanmar border.
Lower than every week later, Samarn, a former member of the Thai navy’s SEAL unit, would die within the Tham Luang cave, the primary casualty in a multinational operation to first discover, then rescue the boys and their coach who went lacking on June 23, after downpours flooded the cave community they had been exploring.
Rescue divers discovered the 13 on Monday, huddled on a muddy ledge of a partly flooded chamber, and the search then changed into a rescue, to get the 13 out by means of a number of kilometres of dangerously flooded tunnels.
Samarn died early on Friday after he and a fellow volunteer had been on their manner again from inserting oxygen tanks deep contained in the cave. He fell unconscious and efforts by his associate to resuscitate him had been futile, the SEAL unit stated.
Within the video clip, Samarn appeared eager to assist his outdated unit discover the boys.
“We’re supporting the frogs staff … we’ve got medical groups and divers from the navy with us,” Samarn stated, referring to Thai army divers by their nickname.
The SEAL unit paid tribute to the outdated comrade.
“He was an athlete. He beloved journey sports activities … it doesn’t matter what exercise the frogs took half in Samarn would be part of, till the top of his life,” the unit stated in an announcement.
Samarn left the unit in 2006 to work at Bangkok’s principal Suvarnabhumi Airport as an emergency rescue officer.
On his Instagram account, he seemed to be an avid bicycle owner, posting a number of footage of himself mountain biking.
In a submit on Wednesday, Samarn uploaded footage of himself in motion with a rescue staff, each inside and outside the Tham Luang cave.
A spokesman for the navy, Rear Admiral Chetta Jaipiem, stated the navy would search “particular permission” to posthumously promote Samarn, who was a petty officer first-class when he left the unit.
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U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Glyn T. Davies provided his condolences to Samarn’s household.
“On behalf of the American folks, I lengthen my deepest condolences to his household and commend his true bravery and selflessness in service to his nation,” Davies stated in an announcement.
— Modifying by Robert Birsel