A Thai navy SEAL who took part in the rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave has died from a blood infection he contracted during the operation, the Royal Thai Navy has said.
The navy said that Petty Officer Beiret Bureerak had been receiving treatment, but his condition worsened.
Another of the rescuers, Sergeant Saman Gunan, died during the rescue operation itself.
It happened after the Wild Boars football team – aged 11 to 16 – and their coach Ekapol Chanthawong went to explore the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai province in June last year.
Heavy rain flooded the cave system, leaving them trapped underground.
The disappearance of the group sparked a major search and rescue operation that drew international attention, with cave diving experts from Britain among those who took part.
After 10 days they were discovered alive, having survived on water dripping from rocks.
Rescuers then faced a race against time to devise a plan to extract the group – trapped 2.5 miles within the cave network – before the onset of monsoon rains.
Mr Gunan, a former navy SEAL diver, died two days before the main rescue began.
He had been working as a volunteer during an overnight mission to deliver oxygen canisters within the cave system ahead of the boys being brought out.
The rescuers continued after his death and all of the trapped group were freed, 18 days after their ordeal began.
It later emerged that the boys had to be sedated with the horse tranquiliser ketamine during the operation, to prevent them panicking and guard against hypothermia.