Diver dies trying to rescue soccer team trapped in Thai cave

Diver dies trying to rescue soccer team trapped in Thai cave
© Getty Images

An ex-Thai Navy SEAL diver died Friday while aiding in rescue efforts for a youth soccer team that has been trapped in the Tham Luang caves.

The New York Post reported that Samarn Kunan, 38, was delivering oxygen tanks in preparation for a potential underwater rescue. But Kunan ran out of oxygen as he was placing the tanks throughout the cave. 

“It was sad news, a former SEAL who volunteered to help died last night,” Chiang Rai deputy governor Passakorn Boonyaluck told reporters. “His job was to deliver oxygen. He did not have enough on his way back.”

SEAL commander and Rear Adm. Arpakorn Yookongkaew said officials believe they are getting closer to rescuing the 12 boys and their soccer coach. 

“But even though we have lost one man, we still have faith to carry out our work,” Yookongkaew said, according to the Post. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The diver's death comes just days after 12 boys and their soccer coach were found alive in a Thailand cave after being lost for 10 days. The team disappeared on June 23 after entering the cave in northern Thailand. It's believed they became trapped after heavy floods blocked the exit route. 

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter on Friday that he is sending a group of specialist engineers to offer aid to the rescue mission. They will join a team of dozens of Thai Navy SEALs and international experts. 

"SpaceX & Boring Co engineers headed to Thailand tomorrow to see if we can be helpful to govt," Musk tweeted.