Thailand cave rescue: Diver dies while taking in supplies

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Volunteers at the Thai cave Image copyright AFP

A former Thai navy diver who joined in search efforts to rescue 12 boys and their coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand has died.

Saman Gunan, 38, lost consciousness on his way out of the Tham Luang cave complex after delivering supplies and could not be revived.

“His job was to deliver oxygen. He did not have enough on his way back,” said and official.

The diver had left the navy but returned to help the rescue operation.

“A former Seal who volunteered to help died last night around 2am,” Chiang Rai Deputy Governor Passakorn Boonyaluck told reporters at the rescue site.

Mr Gunan, said to be an avid runner and cyclist, was part of a massive rescue operation which started almost two weeks ago after the group went into the Tham Luang cave.

Around 1,000 people are involved in the rescue operations, including navy divers, military personnel and civilian volunteers.

Mr Gunan’s death has underscored the dangers behind the search efforts.

Thai Seal commander Apakorn Yookongkaew said the team still had “faith” to carry out their work.

When asked how the missing group could make it out safely if an experienced diver could not, Mr Apakorn said they would take more precautions with the children, who are aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach.

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