Widow Of The Diver Who Died During Rescue Mission Urges Boys Not The Blame Themselves

Throughout the last fortnight, as we hoped and prayed for the safe rescue of the 12 young footballers and their coach, but our optimism was drained when we read about the death of Saman Kunan.

He was the 38-year-old former Navy SEAL who was volunteering in the multinational operation to save the boys after monsoon rains trapped them miles into the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex, in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand.

Now, Mr Kunan's widow, Valeepoan Kunan, has spoken out urging the boys not to blame themselves for his tragic death.

Mrs Kunan told reporters: "I want to tell the boys, please don't blame yourselves," after some people dubbed the boys 'reckless' for entering the cave during the rainy season.

She has since posted a number of photographs to her Instagram page in tribute to her late-husband.

The MailOnline have reported that one says: "I love you like you are my very heart."

She added: "I love you so much. I miss you. From now on when I wake up... Who will I kiss?"

Credit: Instagram/valeepoan_sinmongkolsup
Credit: Instagram/valeepoan_sinmongkolsup

Another message which has been loosely translated read: "I don't know what to do the day you are gone."

Now, people from around the globe have posted messages of condolence, support and appreciation for what Mrs Kunan's husband did in losing his life to help save the boys.

One post read: "Your husband is so brave. The world will not forget his kindness and all he did to save those boys."

Another commented: "Courageous and selfless hero. Deepest Condolences and he'll rest in peace knowing all in the team is saved."

And a third said: "A true hero, thank you. Full respect to you Sir. May your soul rest in peace."

Credit: Instagram/valeepoan_sinmongkolsup
Credit: Instagram/valeepoan_sinmongkolsup

It is believed that Saman Kunan died due to a lack of oxygen in the tunnel, according to Commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew.

Mr Kunan was trying to reach a cavern set up as a command centre 1.2 miles inside the underground system when he ran out of air.

He had been working in a volunteer capacity and was returning to the centre after placing oxygen tanks through the cave's underground network.

A diving partner tried to revive Kunan but was unsuccessful.

Credit: Instagram/valeepoan_sinmongkolsup
Credit: Instagram/valeepoan_sinmongkolsup

After the rescue mission was complete the rescue chief and acting Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn paid tribute to Mr Kunan when he said: "Saman Kunan is the real hero.

"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."

John Volanthen (right) one of the British divers. Credit: PA
John Volanthen (right) one of the British divers. Credit: PA

Now the British divers that took part in the rescue mission have left an emotional message for the children before their flight home.

Jason Mallinson, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, said: "We're very glad we could get you out alive," before adding to the rescued boys to 'be careful in the future'.

Mr Mallinson, 50, and fellow diver John Volanthen, 47, were greeted by cheering crowds as they arrived at a Bangkok airport ahead of their flight back to the UK.

The MailOnline reported that a contingency of government ministers were also in attendance to gift them certificates and medals - promising them free travel to Thailand for life.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/valeepoan_sinmongkolsup

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd is a Journalist at LADbible. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class BA in Journalism. Becky previously worked as Chief Reporter at Cavendish Press, supplying news and feature stories to national newspapers and women's magazines.

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