A Thai navy SEAL officer died from a blood infection that he contracted while rescuing 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave in Thailand’s northern province last year, BBC reported on Saturday.
Petty Officer Beirut Pakbara was under medical supervision but his condition worsened and he died on Friday, a statement from the Royal Thai Navy said. Another rescuer, navy diver Lieutenant Commander Saman Kuman, had also died during the mission in July 2018.
Officials said Pakbara was buried on Friday at the Talosai mosque in southern Satun province according to Islamic funeral rituals ceremony. Local media quoted his mother as saying that her son had been in and out of the hospital since the rescue operation.
The Wild Boars Academy’s coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, and the 12 boys went missing after they had gone to explore the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai province on June 23, 2018. Flood waters after heavy rain had trapped them underground. After nine days, they were rescued by an expert diver taking part in the massive search-and-rescue operation. Teams from the United States, Australia, China and Japan had joined nearly 1,000 Thai rescuers at the mountainous location.