A Navy Seal from Thailand who participated in the daring rescue of a youth football team and their coach from a flooded cave died due to a blood infection that he has contracted during the rescue operation a year ago. Petty Officer Beirut Pakbara was announced dead by the Thai Navy in a Facebook post on Friday.
During his year-long illness Petty Officer Pakbara was under close supervision by several doctors. But unfortunately, his condition kept deteriorating and the Petty Officer died from his illness. The Thai Navy expressed the profound sadness to the Petty Officers demise to his family through their Facebook post. After his death, he was immediately buried on Friday itself.
This is the second Navy Seal to have died and who was part of the rescue operation last July. Thai Navy SEAL diver Saman Gunan died due to running out of oxygen while trying to establish an air line to the football team. After his death, a statue was erected in his honour and bravery outside the cave and has attracted 1.3 million tourists since the football team was freed from the flooded cave.
RIP Thai Navy Seal Beirut Pakbara, the second hero from the Tham Luang cave diving rescue to have lost his life.— Globe Newspaper Bangkok (@GlobeBangkok) December 28, 2019
The petty officer battled an infection for 17 months, contracted during the rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team that captivated the world. #ThamLuang #CaveRescue pic.twitter.com/qv1XTSKeiD
The ordeal began when Wild Boars Academy's coach Ekapol Chanthawong and 12 boys became trapped while exploring the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai province. On June 23, 2018, the coach and the team got trapped when a rainy-season downpour flooded the cave when the boys were inside.
For nine days the boys and their coach survived by drinking water dripping from rocks until they were finally rescued on July 10. The rescue mission garnered extraordinary global interest and included foreign expert divers. After their rescue, the football team garnered global celebrities and even got to meet footballing giants at Manchester United and LA Galaxy.