The latest update from NBC news on one of the biggest news stories around the world. A story which brought out people’s compassion, togetherness, bravery and willingness to do anything to help these young boys and their coach who got stuck in the Tham Luang cave in Thailand’s Chiang Rai’s province. On Monday, another four members of the youth soccer team were freed, bringing the total number of boys rescued to eight. Which leaves four boys and the team’s coach trapped inside the huge and waterlogged Tham Luang complex as the operation was called off for the day.
Sgt. Major Saman Gunan a former member of the Thai Nav SEALs, was one of the incredible men who lost his life in the operation when he lost oxygen on the way back out of the cave, after delivering oxygen tanks to the trapped boys. He couldn’t be revived and was confirmed dead early Friday morning. Gunan recorded a video of himself just moments before he boarded a plane to northern Chiang Rai province to join those assisting in the rescue operations at Tham Luang Nang Non, Thailand’s longest cave. He says he wants to help “bring the boys back home.”
“Loaded all my stuff on to the plane. I’m ready to fly to Chiang Rai,” Gunan says in Thai on the self-shot video, obtained by the Associated Press.
“Supporting the frogmen who are working at Tham Luang in Chiang Rai. I’m from Suvarnabhumi Airport’s support team of the company Airports of Thailand Limited. I’m going to help support this mission,” he says. “See you at Tham Luang in Chiang Rai. May good luck be on our side to bring the boys back home.”
The Thai Navy SEALs wrote on a Facebook post on Friday, “He was a very capable SEAL and a triathlete who liked adventure sports. Although he resigned from the unit, he still loved and had a good connection with all the SEALs. Even the last part of his life, 1st Petty Officer Saman left us and this world while working with the SEAL brothers who are also trying to go forward and complete the mission as planned.”
“His determination and good intention will always be in the heart of all SEAL brothers. Today, you get some good rest. We will complete the mission for you.”
Gunan’s body was sent back to the naval base in the Sattahib district, where the king of Thailand has ordered a funeral to be held with full honors. What an incredibly brave and noble man who will be remembered by millions around the world as a hero and a man who had his heart in the right place.