Thai diver dies trying to rescue lost boys

A cave complex is seen after 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing in Mae Sai Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand Wednesday

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

Saman was 38 and is survived by his wife, his colleagues said.

The former SEAL died while attempting to return to a command centre, located two kilometers inside the cave.

Officials say that they are still forging ahead with the rescue plan in spite of Kunan's death.

"His job was to deliver oxygen (in the cave)".

Governor of the Chiang Rai province, Narongsak Osotthanakor, told reporters that oxygen levels in the cave have been quickly depleted by an influx of rescue workers in the cave.

The military has been pumping water out of the cave but if it can not hold the water level down, it will be left a stark reality: teaching the boys to use diving equipment and bringing them via a route which has already cost one trained diver his life. Two divers from the United Kingdom were the first to make it, on Monday, to the area where the boys and their coach took shelter. Picture: AAPScores of media was waiting for news of a rescue.

Authorities have wrestled with possible methods for delivering them safely.

The video shows them making their way through the cave's claustrophobic labyrinth of chambers while desperately clinging on to a rope. A doctor and a nurse joined the rescue team this week to provide food and medical attention to the boys and their coach.

The fate of the 12 Thai boys stranded in an underground cave for almost two weeks is in the balance as their safety seems threatened not just by the elements but also by those deployed to help them.




Experienced divers are wary of taking out the boys through the dark and unsafe waters still in the cave, especially since they are untrained.

One volunteer rescuer died in an effort to distribute oxygen tanks throughout the cave, when he himself ran out of oxygen and passed out underwater.

Rescuers work on the water pumping machine at the entrance of the cave network on July 2.

"They'd have gone in there laying a dive line as they went but they've got no idea how long that passage is going to be, how long they'll be under water, what conditions are going to be like and how narrow that cave becomes".

Thailand's Underwater Demolition Assault Unit, the agency in charge of extraction, is evaluating the risk of taking the group out, and though the boys have been practicing wearing diving masks and breathing, it doesn't appear they have yet practiced diving, Osatanakorn said. In the first official admission the boys can not wait out the monsoon season underground until October, authorities have warned the window of opportunity to free them is "limited".

"You see we are increasing the number of people going inside the cave".

"We originally thought the boys can stay safe inside the cave for quite some time but circumstances have changed. We have limited amount of time".

Four SEALs, including a medic, are looking after the team in the meantime.

But Kunan's death has shaken the rescue mission, and forecasts for more rain could undermine the draining of the cave, forcing officials to consider other options.

The billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk tweeted on Friday that engineers from his firms - SpaceX and the Boring Company - were heading to Thailand to see if they could assist the rescue.

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