The diver died due to lack of oxygen, in the midst of his work.
The Thai authorities reported that a former member of the Navy Special Unit (Navy SEAL) who was working to rescue the children trapped in the cave has died from lack of oxygen.
SEAL commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew told a news conference on Friday morning that the rescuer was volunteering and died during a mission on the night he was placing oxygen tanks.
Thai authorities are trying to pump water from a flooded cave, where 12 children and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23.
The rescue teams evaluated on Thursday the decrease in water levels in the cave in Thailand where 12 children and one adult have been trapped since June 23, which could advance the rescue.
The rescue teams fear that the rains announced for the next few days will flood the cave again.
“We can not confirm when it will take place, but we will make sure that the children are 100% safe” during the mission, said Narongsak Osotthanakorn, governor of the northern province of Chiang Rai, where the grotto is located.
“If the risk is less than 10 percent, we will go forward,” said one of the leaders of the extraction operation.
The mission would be carried out gradually, taking first the children with better physical and psychological conditions.
Authorities are carefully studying the weather projections with the fear that a rainstorm may come, which according to experts could reach the region tomorrow.
From the beginning of the precipitations, part of the hard work done by the salvage members to drain the passages would be annulled.
“We fought against the weather when we found them, now we fight against the waters. We can not risk new floods,” Narongsak said, adding that in spite of new floods, rescue teams will be able to reach the minors.
About 20 extraction pumps work without rest and drain about 2,640 gallons per hour, which translates into a decrease of approximately one centimetre of the water level.
According to the governor’s estimate, the water level has dropped by close to 40% since the start of operations.
The group – composed of twelve children between 11 and 16 years old and an adult of 26 – was found Monday night on an island of dry land about two and a half miles inside the cave and after nine days of intense search in the that more than 1,300 people have participated.
A dozen soldiers, including a doctor and a psychologist, take care of vitamin supplements and health care of the kids, visibly thin, but in good health.
Little by little, the group recovers its forces for the second phase of the mission: the exit from the cave located in the Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non-natural park, near the border between Thailand and Burma.
According to experts, the only way is to dive through the underground tunnels flooded, although the mountain is still scrutinized in search of a cavity through which to ascend the group.
The 13 went into the galleries on Saturday, June 23 after a football training when a sudden storm began to flood the cavity and cut the exit.
The rangers who gave the alert found their bicycles, shoes and other belongings of the disappeared at the entrance of the cave.
Army elite corps, rescue personnel and volunteers, as well as experts from the United States, Japan, China and Australia, have participated in search and rescue operations.