Saman Kunan (alternatively spelled Gunan) was a former Underwater Demolition Assault Unit (UDAU) Operator, otherwise known as a Royal Thai Navy SEAL. He died during the recovery efforts to save the children trapped in the caves in northern Thailand. He was part of an effort to send air tanks up and down the submerged parts of the cave system, and lost consciousness while underwater having run out of air.

Professional divers have said that this dive is incredibly difficult. It’s fraught with small openings, sharp turns, huge inclines the size of buildings, and heavy currents that toss you around injudiciously. And all of this is deep within a cave with no exterior light.

Men like Saman Kunan are still out there working relentlessly to save these kids and their coach, but it was Kunan who has lost his life in this endeavor. We salute him and his truly selfless efforts in this harrowing ordeal.

The body of Saman Kunan, a former Thai navy SEAL who died during an overnight mission, is carried during a repatriation and religious rites ceremony at Chiang Rai Airport in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand Friday, July 6, 2018. | AP Photo

Read the beginning of this story here: “Royal Thai Navy SEALs find trapped boys alive after 10 days in a submerged cave system.”