After over two weeks underground, the thirteen people trapped in a Thai cave have been rescued.
The soccer team’s dramatic survival story shocked the entire world, as rescuers rushed to save the children from a flooded cave.
Sadly, however, one of the brave volunteers who risked their lives to rescue the boys won’t be celebrating their rescue.
Thai Navy SEAL – Facebook
Saman Gunan, 38 years old, was a former Thai Navy SEAL that worked as an airport security guard.
Gunan had kept in touch with his fellow veterans and their training activities, years after he left the armed forces.
That was how when news broke that the team of young boys and their coach were trapped in the cave, Gunan volunteered to help.
In a video shot by himself before heading to the rescue site, Gunan said that he wanted to “bring the boys back home.”
Gunan was one of at least 1,000 workers and volunteers who raced to save the boys who were trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non caves in Chiang Rai, in Thailand.
Royal Thai Army
Gunan’s work as an expert diver was critical: he brought supplies into the cave, such as fresh containers of oxygen on which both the trapped boys and their rescuers relied.
He drowned in the early morning on July 6th, 2018, while bringing fresh air canisters into the cave.
Other rescuers attempted to revive Gunan on site but couldn’t.
“His effort and determination will always remain the hearts of all divers,” the Thai Navy SEALs wrote in a Facebook post.
“May you rest in peace and we will accomplish this mission as you had wished.”
Thai Navy SEAL – Facebook
Gunan and the other rescue divers’ hard work has finally paid off, as on July 8th, expert divers started to guide the trapped boys out of the cave in small groups, which finally led to the boys and their coach’s rescue.
While the world is celebrating, Waleepon Gunan, Gunan’s wife, is in mourning.
In an interview with the BBC, she remembered her husband as an athletic and charitable man:
“In other people’s eyes, he’s lovely,” she said. “For me, I love him so much. I really loved him.”
“Every day before he left for work, we said we loved each other.”
She even said that Gunan would text her during the day only to be sure that she ate lunch.
Chiang Rai Times
Gunan’s body was loaded onto a Thai Navy airplane. A military funeral and a smaller service in his hometown were planned, while Thai monarchy offered to cover the bill for both ceremonies.
For Waleepon, the only way to cope with her painful emotions is through pride for her late husband and his bravery.
“Saman once said we never knew when we would die,” she said.
“We can’t control that, so we need to cherish every day.”
Let’s all honor Sgt. Saman Kunan’s memory and pray for his loved ones.