'It's like I've died': Wife mourns Thai rescue diver
'It's like I've died': Wife mourns Thai rescue diver
#ThaiCaveRescue: 12 boys and a coach rescued safely
12 July, 2018, 21:25
Saman Kunan, 38, a former member of the elite Navy SEALs unit, was the only casualty in a multinational operation to save the boys and their coach after monsoon rains trapped them in the cave they were exploring in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand.
Mr Kunan died on July 6 after losing consciousness during a mission to place oxygen tanks deep inside the cave, just two days before the first group of four boys was brought out. Saman was pulled to chamber three and they tried to revive him again but it was already too late.
"If you ask me if I'm sad, it's like I've died but I'm still alive", she said.
In an emotional interview with BBC, his widow, Waleeporn Gunan said that she was proud of her husband and was using this pride to repress her sorrow.
Saman Gunan died from a lack of oxygen while volunteering on the cave rescue mission.
The bowels of Tham Luang cave are described as being pitch-black with near-zero visibility.
"Every day before he left for work we said we loved each other". Thousands of people have shown their support for her, sending comforting wishes and calling her late husband a hero.
Families of the boys have been waiting for hours for news since authorities announced the rescue attempt would commence early Sunday, as storm clouds threatened to dump more water on the flooded caverns, undoing efforts to drain them.
"The determination and dedication of Saman will always be in all of our frogmen hearts", the Thai Navy SEALs said in a statement after his death. The BBC reported the funeral was held at a temple in the north-east province of Roi Et.
Saman's father Wichai said he is extremely proud of his son.
"Daddy loves you", he said.
Saman's wife Waleeporn said she is still coming to grips with her husband's death.
"Saman once said we never knew when we would die".
People all over the world are rejoicing over the news that the Thai football team and their coach were safely rescued from Tham Luang cave yesterday night (July 10).
And the confidence of the diving team, and expertise specific to the cave, grew after its first successful mission Sunday. They survived the nine days before they were found by drinking water dripping from the cave walls, officials said.
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Since then, Thai and worldwide divers and specialists have been strategizing how to safely extract the boys and their coach. The rescue operation, which commenced on Sunday, was carried out in three phases.
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