Diver dies in Thailand cave rescue operation

Clay Curtis
July 7, 2018

The rescue operation itself, coordinated by a team of Thai Navy SEALs, risks getting out of hand as a growing number of volunteers arrive, and the media circus covering the drama grows.

Meanwhile, the King of Thailand has announced that Saman would be laid to rest in a royal-sponsored funeral ceremony.

For any rescuer to reach the boys, a diver is required to bring along three oxygen tanks. So far, rescuers have pumped more than 32 million gallons of water out of the cave (about 40 percent of what's inside), The Guardian reported. "Today Saman rests. We will complete this mission, just as Saman intended", they vowed, signing off with a battle cheer adopted from the U.S. Navy: "Hooyah Hooyah Hooyah".

Players from Brazil legend Ronaldo to England's John Stones said they were closely following attempts to rescue the team, whose ordeal coincides with the World Cup in Russian Federation.

"I have no doubt that if the government of the country puts in everything and makes all possible efforts, this rescue will be successful", Mario Sepulveda, one of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days in 2010, said in a video sent to AFP meant for the group.

Everyone at GiveMeSport wishes the team are rescued safely.

He said: "We can no longer wait for all conditions to be ready because of the oppressive situation".

"At first, we thought the children could stay for a long time. but now things have changed, we have a limited time", Thailand Navy SEAL commander Apakorn Yookongkaew told reporters on Friday. "We have a limited amount of time". Gen. Chalongchai Chaiyakam told reporters the most important task is to set up an oxygen line to reach the boys, the AP reports.

With oxygen levels dropping quickly, the rescue mission seen being rehearsed in the new footage could begin at any moment.

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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.

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

"If, as we all hope, they are reunited with their families in the coming days and their health allows them to travel, FIFA would be delighted to invite them to attend the 2018 World Cup final as our guests", he wrote in a letter to the head of the Football Association of Thailand.

The muddy bank where the boys are stranded is about 2.5 miles (4km) from the front entrance of the cave, and sections of the final 1.7km stretch are completely underwater.

Parts of a passageway leading to where the boys and coach were found on Monday is still flooded all the way to the ceiling, making diving the only way out.

When asked if a rescue attempt would be made overnight if it started to rain, Narongsak Osotthanakorn said: "No, the boys can't dive at this time".

The Thai government said Musk's team could help the rescue operation with location tracking, water pumping or battery power.

Authorities are trying to work out how best to bring the group to safety, with officials stressing they do not intend to take any risks with the boys' safety.

Rescuers hope that they will be able to drain the flooded cave passage enough that the boys will be able to walk out.

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