News World Amid the joy, tributes flow for Saman Gunan, the Thai rescue fatality

Amid the joy, tributes flow for Saman Gunan, the Thai rescue fatality

thai cave fatality Saman Gunan
Saman Gunan died while laying oxygen tanks for a potential rescue of the trapped boys. Photo: Facebook
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As the world celebrates the miraculous rescue of all 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thai cave, tributes are flowing in for the man who gave his life for their cause.

Former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan died, who was volunteering to help the rescue effort, died after running our of oxygen while working to position air tanks along the exit route.

Now the ordeal is over for the 13 trapped in the cave, Mr Gunan is being 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.

Mr 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.

‘I use pride to repress my sadness’

Mr Gunan’s widow, Waleeporn, told the BBC, “It’s like I’ve died but I’m still alive. 

“But I use pride to repress my sadness,” she added.

Thai cave fatality saman gunan's wideo
‘I use pride to repress my sadness,’ Mrs Gunan said. Photo: BBC

Mrs Gunan said her husband was being praised as a hero because of who he was.

“He loved helping others, doing charity work and getting things done,” she said.

She spoke about the strength of their relationship, saying they would tell each other they loved each other before he left for work each day.

“At midday, we’d text to see if the other had had lunch. In the evening, when he got home, I would ask him how he was,” Mrs Gunan said.

“Saman once said we never knew when we would die. We can’t control that, so we need to cherish every day,” she said.

Mrs Gunan had these final words for her husband:

“I want to tell you honey, you are the hero in my heart. You always were and you always will be.”

Thai cave fatality saman gunan
The former Thai Navy SEAL had spoken about dying. Photo: Facebook

Mr Gunan’s father Wichai Gunan told the BBC he was “very proud” of his son.

“But I am very sad too because I lost my beloved son,” he told the BBC.

“May you rest in peace. Rest well. Daddy loves you.”

Tributes flow in Thailand

-With agencies