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Thai Navy SEAL Who Helped Rescue Soccer Team From Cave Dies From Infection

A Thai Navy SEAL who was part of the risky rescue mission to save a boy's soccer team from a flooded cave has now died after contracting a blood infection during the operation, NBC News reported.

Petty Officer 1st Class Bayroot Pakbara had been receiving treatment for the disease one year after the rescue but his condition had worsened once the infection entered into his bloodstream.

The Royal Thai Navy announced Beirut's passing on their Facebook page on December 27.

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"Mourning Sergeant Major Beirut Pakbara, the hero of the cave who passed away," the statement read. "The Royal Thai Navy would like to express our deepest condolences to Beirut's family."

In late June 2018, 12 boys on a junior soccer team and their coach entered the Tham Luang cave complex.

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Although only intended to be a quick visit after practice, the team soon became trapped inside the caves by rising floodwater. A massive search ensued while they spent nine nights inside.

It wasn't until the team was spotted by a diver that it was confirmed they had in fact survived the flooding.

In order to free the boys and their coach from the cave, Thai Navy SEALS and international cave diving experts had to undergo a risky mission.

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The world watched as rescuers navigated dark, tight, and twisted passageways that were filled with muddy water. They also had to fight strong currents in order to carry the boys out of the cave on special stretchers.

As per the the operation, oxygen canisters were strategically placed along the divers' path.

Eight days after the boys had first been discovered, they were all officially rescued from the cave.

Beirut is the second navy diver who lost his life in the high-profile rescue operation.

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According to CNN, former Thai Navy SEAL Samna Kunan died during the mission while delivering oxygen tanks within the cave. He ran out of air while underwater.

h/t: NBC News, Facebook | Royal Thai Navy