Navy Seal Who Helped Rescue Thai Boys Trapped in Cave Dies from Infection Contracted During Operation

The officer was receiving treatment but his condition worsened.
Loukia Papadopoulos

They say that no good deed goes unpunished and sadly sometimes this is true. A Navy Seal who helped rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Thailand last year has died from an infection he contracted during the operation.


Condition worsened

The Navy released a statement on Friday saying that despite receiving treatment, Petty Officer Beiret Bureerak's condition got worse. This was not the only death to come from the rescue.

Former navy diver Sergeant Saman Kuman also died trying to rescue the soccer team. However, all the 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach were brought out of the cave safely.

The rescue mission was a grueling and treacherous three-part operation that lasted three days. The operation saw the collaboration of many parties including Thai Navy Seals and a variety of experts from fields ranging from communications to divers.

Rescuers had to fight incoming monsoon rains that risked sending water levels rising, along with decreasing oxygen availability in the cave's enclosed spaces. Further complicating matters was the fact that any efforts to pump out water from the cave were constantly thwarted by heavy rain.

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At war with water and time

“I confirm that we are at war with water and time from the first day up to today. Finding the boys doesn’t mean we’ve finished our mission. It is only a small battle we’ve won, but the war has not ended. The war ends when we win all three battles — the battles to search, rescue and send them home," had said leader of the operation Chiang Rai acting Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn.

Our hearts go out to both of the brave men who lost their lives in this noble pursuit. 

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