Thai SEAL dies of blood infection a year after cave rescue

BANGKOK — A Thai navy SEAL who was part of the dramatic rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave has died of a blood infection contracted during the risky operation, the Royal Thai Navy said.

Petty Officer 1st Class Bayroot Pakbara was receiving treatment but his condition worsened after the infection spread into his blood, according to an announcement on the Thai navy SEAL’s Facebook page.

He is the second navy diver who lost his life in the high-profile operation that saw the boys and the coach extracted from deep inside the northern cave complex, where they were trapped for two weeks in June-July last year.

Lt. Cmdr. Saman Gunan died while resupplying oxygen tanks on July 6, 2018.

According to the Bangkok Post daily, Pakbara was buried Friday at the Talosai mosque in southern Satun province. Local media quoted his mother as saying her son had been in and out of the hospital since the cave rescue.

The boys and their coach entered the Tham Luang cave complex after soccer practice and were quickly trapped inside by rising floodwater. Despite a massive search, the boys spent nine nights lost in the cave before they were spotted by an expert diver. It would take another eight days before they were all safe.

A team of expert divers guided each of the boys out of the cave on special stretchers. The operation required placing oxygen canisters along the path where the divers maneuvered dark, tight and twisting passageways filled with muddy water and strong currents.

Related: Thai soccer team trapped in cave

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Thai soccer team trapped in cave
CHIANG RAI, THAILAND - JUNE 28: A giant driller is brought to the entrance of Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the effort of drilling into the mountain to find a way to approach the missing boys on June 28, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Rescuers battle heavy rain in northern Thailand as they continued the search for 12 boys and their soccer coach who has been missing in Tham Luang Nang Non cave since Saturday night after monsoon rains blocked the main entrance. Teams of Navy SEAL divers worked their way through submerged passageways in the sprawling underground caverns as senior Thai government officials warned on Wednesday that time is running out and the search intensifies for the young soccer team, aged between 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach, with soldiers and park rangers seeking other entry points into the cave system. (Photo by Linh Pham/Getty Images)
Thai soldiers relay electric cable deep into the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 during a rescue operation for a missing children's football team and their coach. - Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on June 26. (Photo by LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Thai rescue personnel arrive at the Tham Luang cave to conduct operations to find the missing members of the children's football team in a cave chamber along with their coach at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 25, 2018. - A dramatic underwater rescue mission to find a children's football team who have been trapped in a flooded cave for two days was underway in northern Thailand, officials said June 25. (Photo by Krit Phromsakla Na SAKOLNAKORN / THAI NEWS PIX / AFP) (Photo credit should read KRIT PHROMSAKLA NA SAKOLNAKORN/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members and relatives pray as they keep vigil near the Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 while rescue personnel conduct operation for a missing children's football team and their coach. - Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on June 26. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Thai rescue personnel carry oxygen tanks inside Tham Luang cave to conduct operations to find the missing members of the children's football team along with their coach at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018. (Photo by Krit Phromsakla Na SAKOLNAKORN / THAI NEWS PIX / AFP) (Photo credit should read KRIT PHROMSAKLA NA SAKOLNAKORN/AFP/Getty Images)
Thai soldiers relay electric cable deep into the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 during a rescue operation for a missing children's football team and their coach. - Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on June 26. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Thai rescue personnel gather at the entrance of Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 during a rescue operation for a missing children's football team and their coach. - Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on June 26. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members and relatives pray at the entrance of Tham Luang cave while rescue personnel conduct operations to find the missing members of the children's football team along with their coach at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai province on June 26, 2018. (Photo by Krit Phromsakla Na SAKOLNAKORN / various sources / AFP) (Photo credit should read KRIT PHROMSAKLA NA SAKOLNAKORN/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members and relatives pray as they keep vigil near the Tham Luang cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 while rescue personnel conduct operation for a missing children's football team and their coach. - Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on June 26. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Thai soldiers carry equipment into the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 during a rescue operation for a missing children's football team and their coach. - Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on June 26. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
A relative shows the photograph of missing Adorn Sanorn, 14, as family members keep vigil near Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 while rescue personnel conduct operation for a missing children's football team and their coach. - Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on June 26. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Thai soldiers carry equipment into the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 during a rescue operation for a missing children's football team and their coach. - Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on June 26. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Thai soldiers relay electric cable deep into the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 during a rescue operation for a missing children's football team and their coach. - Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on June 26. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members and relatives wait outside the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 during a rescue operation for a missing children's football team and their coach. - Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on June 26. (Photo by LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Thai soldiers relay electric cable deep into the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 during a rescue operation for a missing children's football team and their coach. - Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on June 26. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members and relatives pray close to the entrance of Tham Luang cave while rescue personnel conduct operations to find the missing members of the children's football team along with their coach at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai province on June 26, 2018. (Photo by LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members and relatives pray at the entrance of Tham Luang cave while rescue personnel conduct operations to find the missing members of the children's football team along with their coach at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai province on June 26, 2018. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Thai soldiers relay electric cable deep into the Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 26, 2018 during a rescue operation for a missing children's football team and their coach. - Desperate parents led a prayer ceremony outside a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 children and their football coach have been trapped for days, as military rescue divers packing food rations resumed their search on June 26. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members and relatives pray at the entrance of Tham Luang cave while rescue personnel conduct operations to find the missing members of the children's football team along with their coach at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai province on June 26, 2018. (Photo by LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Bicycles belonging to members of a children's football team, who are trapped in a cave chamber along with their coach, are seen as Thai rescue personnel (background) conduct operations under floodlights at the entrance to Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 25, 2018. - A dramatic underwater rescue mission to find a children's football team who have been trapped in a flooded cave for two days was underway in northern Thailand, officials said June 25. (Photo by Krit Promsakla Na Sakolnakorn / THAI NEWS PIX / AFP) (Photo credit should read KRIT PROMSAKLA NA SAKOLNAKORN/AFP/Getty Images)
Bicycles belonging to members of a children's football team, who are trapped in a cave chamber along with their coach, are seen as Thai rescue personnel (background) conduct operations under floodlights at the entrance to Tham Luang cave at the Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 25, 2018. - A dramatic underwater rescue mission to find a children's football team who have been trapped in a flooded cave for two days was underway in northern Thailand, officials said June 25. (Photo by Krit Promsakla Na Sakolnakorn / THAI NEWS PIX / AFP) (Photo credit should read KRIT PROMSAKLA NA SAKOLNAKORN/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members carrying flower offering for prayers arrive with Thai rescue personnel near the Tham Luang cave to conduct operations to find the missing members of the children's football team in a cave chamber along with their coach at the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai on June 25, 2018. - A dramatic underwater rescue mission to find a children's football team who have been trapped in a flooded cave for two days was underway in northern Thailand, officials said June 25. (Photo by Krit Phromsakla Na SAKOLNAKORN / THAI NEWS PIX / AFP) (Photo credit should read KRIT PHROMSAKLA NA SAKOLNAKORN/AFP/Getty Images)
The abandoned bicycles belonging to the missing children are seen parked together while Thai rescue personnel conduct rescue operations under floodlights, seen in the background, at the entrance of Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province on June 26, 2018 as the search continue for the 12 children and their coach. (Photo by LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue workers are seen in Tham Luang caves during a search for 12 members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Personnel work near Tham Luang cave complex during a search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Rescue workers work near Tham Luang cave complex during a search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Rescue workers work near Tham Luang cave complex during a search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Soldiers are seen at the Tham Luang cave complex during a search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Soldiers and rescue workers carry water pipes to the Tham Luang cave complex during a search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Soldiers and rescue workers carry a water pump to the Tham Luang cave complex during a search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
CHIANG RAI, THAILAND - JUNE 28: British cave-diver Richard William Stanton walks out from Tham Luang Nang Non cave in full kit without any response to reporter's questions on June 28, 2018 in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Rescuers battled heavy rain in northern Thailand as they continued the search for 12 boys and their soccer coach who have been missing in Tham Luang Nang Non cave since Saturday night after monsoon rains blocked the main entrance. Teams of Navy SEAL divers worked their way through submerged passageways in the sprawling underground caverns as senior Thai government officials warned on Wednesday that time is running out and the search intensifies for the young soccer team, aged between 11 to 16, and their their 25-year-old coach, with soldiers and park rangers seeking other entry points into the cave system. (Photo by Linh Pham/Getty Images)
Rescue workers are seen near Tham Luang cave complex during a search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
U.S. military personnel come out from Tham Luang cave complex during a search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
U.S. military personnel come out from Tham Luang cave complex during a search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Rescue workers bring out a family member from the Tham Luang cave complex during a search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Soldiers work near Tham Luang caves during a search for 12 members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
A Buddhist monk and relatives pray near Tham Luang caves during a search for 12 members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
A rescue worker sits in front of the Tham Luang cave complex during a search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
A family member cries near Tham Luang caves during a search for 12 members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Family members pass their time near Tham Luang caves during a search for 12 members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
A family member carries flowers to pray near the Tham Luang cave complex during a search for members of an under-16 soccer team and their coach, in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand, June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
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