Former Royal Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan, 38, came out of retirement to help but died while placing oxygen tanks along the escape route.
The world is celebrating the successful rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach who spent over two weeks in a flooded cave in Thailand.
But there was one casualty — a former Thai Navy SEAL who died after entering the cave to lay oxygen tanks along the exit route.
Saman Gunan (alternatively spelled Kunan) has been remembered by his family and people around the world as a hero.
The 38-year-old set out on Thursday night last week to deliver three oxygen tanks. He completed his task, but lost consciousness on the return trip. His diving partner performed CPR but was unable to revive him. Gunan was one of about 80 Thai Navy SEALs, who made up the bulk of the divers involved in the rescue effort.
"We won't let the life lost be wasted," SEAL commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew said.
Diver had previously spoken about death
PHOTO: Saman Gunan was a former member of Thailand's elite Navy SEAL unit. (Facebook: Poom Pui)