World 'You are my very heart': Wife of diver who died in Thai cave mourns a hero

17:58  12 july  2018
17:58  12 july  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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By Amy Sawitta Lefevre. BANGKOK (Reuters) – The wife of a former Thai navy diver who died working to rescue a young soccer team trapped for days in a flooded cave said on Thursday she missed him dearly and urged the boys not to blame themselves for his death.

The wife of a former Thai navy diver who died working to rescue a young soccer team trapped for days in a flooded cave said on Thursday she missed him dearly and urged the boys not to blame themselves for his death.

a man holding a sign: An honour guard hold up a picture of Samarn Kunan at an airport in Rayong province © REUTERS/Panumas Sanguanwong An honour guard hold up a picture of Samarn Kunan at an airport in Rayong province

The wife of a former Thai navy diver who died working to rescue a young soccer team trapped for days in a flooded cave said on Thursday she missed him dearly and urged the boys not to blame themselves for his death.

The rescued boys smiled and waved from their hospital beds in the first video clip released on Wednesday after an ordeal that has gripped the world.

Samarn Kunan, 38, a former member of the elite navy SEALs unit, was the only casualty in a multinational operation to save the boys and their coach after monsoon rains trapped them in the cave they were exploring in northern Thailand.

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Saman Gunan, a former Thai navy diver , died while taking part in efforts to rescue 12 boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand .

"The big heroes in this are the children and the four Thai Navy SEALS who were looking after them. More from Aol.com: Husband dies on honeymoon after colliding with wife on zip line All 12 members of missing youth soccer team, coach found alive in Thailand cave Photos of the week: 6/15 - 6/22.

"I love you so much," his widow, Valeepoan Kunan, wrote in the caption to a black-and-white photograph of her husband she posted on her Instagram account.

"I miss you," she added. "I love you like you are my very heart...from now on when I wake up...who will I kiss?"

The world should remember Samarn, the head of the rescue mission told a news conference at the end of the 17-day operation.

"Samarn Kunan is the real hero," Narongsak Osottanakorn said. "On the day that he passed, the entire team was sad, but we used this sorrow. We saw that he gave his life for this cause."

A day earlier Valeepoan posted a picture of her hand clasping that of her husband.

People from around the world have offered condolences and commented on Valeepoan's social media accounts.

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ALSO READ: Ex- Thai navy Seal dies in Thailand cave rescue: Official. “I want to tell you honey you are the hero in my heart .” Saman Gunan's wife and father tell us about the man who died

The family of a former Thai Navy SEAL who died while helping to rescue 12 soccer teammates and their coach from Tham Luang cave said he "He’s been praised as a hero because of who he was ," she said. Saman's father, Wichai Gunan, said he was proud of his "beloved" son, but very sad too.

"Our hearts go out to you and your family at this difficult time," read one comment. "Your husband is so brave. The world will not forget his kindness and all he did to save those boys."

A Thai artist has promised to create a statue of Samarn to be erected in Chiang Rai province, where the Tham Luang cave is situated.

Samarn, an emergency rescue worker at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport after he left the SEALs in 2006, joined the cave rescue operation on July 1.

British divers found the 13 young men huddled on a muddy ledge in a partly flooded chamber inside the cave. Samarn died on July 6 after losing consciousness during a mission to place oxygen tanks deep inside the cave, just two days before the first group of four boys was brought out.

During the rescue, some Thais said on social media that the soccer team had been reckless in entering the cave during the rainy season. But Valeepoan absolved them of responsibility.

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  Thailand's cave boys to be discharged from hospital next week Twelve Thai boys rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand will be discharged from hospital next week, health minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said on Saturday. © REUTERS TV A screen grab shows boys rescued from the Thai cave wearing mask and resting in a hospital in Chiang Rai The last group of the 12-member "Wild Boars" soccer team and their coach was brought out of the Tham Luang cave, near the border with Myanmar, on Tuesday night, safely ending a dangerous rescue and evoking international relief and joy.

The Thai navy diver working as part of the effort to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave died Friday from lack of oxygen, underscoring risks of extracting the team. "He's been praised as a hero because of who he was ," she said.

Several Thai navy divers took part in the rescue. One ex-navy diver , Saman Gunan, died in the cave last Friday. Media captionWife and father remember ' hero ' Thai diver : "He loved helping others". Media captionRescue diver in Thai cave : "I was very scared".

"I want to tell the boys, please don't blame yourselves," Valeepoan told reporters.

Photos: Rescue mission for Thai soccer team

"Today is D-Day": Rescuers begin mission to extract Thai cave boys .
"Today is D-Day": Rescuers begin mission to extract Thai cave boysThirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite navy SEAL unit would attempt to bring the boys – some of whom are as young as 11 and not strong swimmers – through narrow, submerged passageways that claimed the life of a former Thai navy diver earlier this week.

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