Monday 27 January 2020

Thai Navy Seal who took part in cave rescue operation dies from blood infection

Rescuers installing a water pump inside Tham Luang Nang Non cave in June 2018
Rescuers installing a water pump inside Tham Luang Nang Non cave in June 2018

Tassanee Vejpongsa

A Navy Seal has died from a blood infection contracted during the rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave in Thailand.

Petty Officer 1st Class Bayroot Pakbara was receiving treatment but his condition worsened after the infection spread into his blood, according to an announcement on the Thai Navy Seal's Facebook page.

He is the second navy diver who lost his life in the high-profile operation that saw the boys and the coach extracted from deep inside the northern cave complex, where they were trapped for two weeks in June and July last year.

Lieutenant Commander Saman Gunan died while resupplying oxygen tanks on July 6 2018.

According to the Bangkok Post, Mr Pakbara was buried on Friday at the Talosai mosque in southern Satun province.

Local media quoted his mother as saying her son had been in and out of the hospital since the cave rescue.

The boys and their coach entered the Tham Luang cave complex after football practice and were quickly trapped inside by rising floodwater.

Despite a massive search, the boys spent nine nights lost in the cave before they were spotted by an expert diver.

A team of expert divers guided each of the boys out of the cave on special stretchers.

The operation required placing oxygen canisters along the path where the divers maneuvered dark, tight and twisting passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents.

PA Media

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