Thai navy Seal who took part in Tham Luang cave rescue dies after year-long infection

Petty Officer Beiret Bureerak had been receiving treatment, but his condition worsened.
Petty Officer Beiret Bureerak had been receiving treatment, but his condition worsened.PHOTO: ROYAL THAI NAVY/FACEBOOK
A photo taken on July 11, 2018, shows the rescue operations for a youth football team and their coach at Tham Luang cave in Thailand's Chiang Rai province.
A photo taken on July 11, 2018, shows the rescue operations for a youth football team and their coach at Tham Luang cave in Thailand's Chiang Rai province.PHOTO: EPA-EFE/ROYAL THAI NAVY

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - A Thai navy Seal who took part in the dramatic rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in northern Thailand last year has died from a blood infection he contracted during the operation, the Royal Thai Navy said on Friday (Dec 27).

Petty Officer Beiret Bureerak had been receiving treatment, but his condition worsened, the navy said in a statement.

Another rescuer, former navy diver Sergeant Saman Guman, died during the rescue operation.

Wild Boars Academy's coach Ekapol Chanthawong and 12 boys had gone to explore the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai province on June 23, 2018, when a rainy-season downpour flooded the cave system and trapped them underground.

They survived for nine days on water dripping from rocks before they were discovered. Volunteers from abroad joined the rescue effort, which ended on July 10 when the boys and their coach were all brought out safely.