Saman Kunan ,Former Thai navy Seal diver has died from lack of air while placing air tanks inside the cave where 12 boys have been stranded for nearly two weeks.Maintaining air supplies inside the cave emerged as the “top priority” on Friday as rescuers increasingly planned for the prospect of the boys remaining underground throughout the monsoon season that ends in October.The presence of hundreds of rescue workers inside the cave has been depleting the air supply the boys have been relying on, with oxygen inside their chamber down to about 15%.
Updates from authorities throughout the week have emphasised the dangers of shepherding the boys through the cave to the exit, but the oxygen issues that emerged on Friday are an acknowledgement that keeping the boys in place during the monsoon is also risky.
The former Seal, identified as Saman Kunan, died around 1am on Friday morning after he was returning from placing air tanks along the roughly 3.2km route to the boys, the current method for replenishing the air supply in the cave.Kunan became unconscious while making the return journey to “chamber three”, around 1.5km inside the cave. A diving buddy tried to revive him but was unsuccessful.
A volunteer in the rescue effort and a highly trained diver, Kunan’s death shows the difficulty of this effort. Thai leaders vowed to continue on with the same force and gusto to honor their fallen comrade.