Thai Navy SEAL Dies From Infection He Contracted During Cave Rescue

Wire Service
By Wire Service
December 28, 2019Worldshare
Thai Navy SEAL Dies From Infection He Contracted During Cave Rescue
Navy Seal dies from infection he contracted during the Thai Cave Rescue. (Royal Thai Navy/Facebook via CNN)

A Thai Navy SEAL has died from an infection he contracted during the daring rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand last year.

The Thai Royal Navy confirmed the death of Petty Officer Beirut Pakbara in a statement Friday.

“Mourning Sergeant Major Beirut Pakbara, the hero of the cave who passed away. The Royal Thai Navy would like to express our deepest condolences to Beirut’s family,” the statement read.

Beirut contracted a blood infection during the rescue operation at Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand. He had been seeking medical treatment over the past year, but his condition worsened after the infection got into his bloodstream, according to the Thai Royal Navy.

Twelve members of the Wild Boars youth soccer team and their coach entered the sprawling Tham Luang cave network on June 23 last year and were trapped when a downpour flooded the cave complex.

workers install a pump at the Thailand cave rescue site
Workers install water pump hoses at the entrance of Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand, on June 28, 2018. (Photo by Linh Pham/Getty Images)

They were unable to navigate out of narrow passages, and the rising water forced them to take shelter on a rocky ledge. The boys were found two weeks later in early July, but jubilation quickly gave way to the realization that their rescue would be extremely dangerous.

The world watched as a team of Thai Navy SEALs and international cave-diving experts led the mission to retrieve them, eventually evacuating the boys one by one.

NTD Photo
Rescue workers at the Tham Luang cave complex in Thailand on July 10, 2018. (Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun/File Photo)

During the efforts, Saman Kunan, also a former Thai Navy SEAL, died as he returned from delivering oxygen tanks. An official said at the time he ran out of air while underwater.

The last of the group, the coach, successfully exited July 10.

NTD Photo

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.