CHIANG RAI – Twelve young footballers and their coach were trapped inside a cave system in Chiang Rai province two years ago, leading to an extraordinary rescue mission by an international rescue team. All 13 young footballers were eventually extracted from the dark and flooded cave, but with the loss of one of the early responders delivering oxygen, who unfortunately lost his life in the course of his brave mission.
A commemorative ceremony was held today at Tham Luang – Khun Nam Nang Non National Park in Chiang Rai, to pay the community’s respects to Lt Commander Saman Gunan, a former Royal Thai Navy diver who lost his life in the course of the rescue of the Moo Pa Academy football team and their coach, trapped inside Tham Luang cave system two years ago.
The ceremony started with an alms giving ceremony for 108 Buddhist monks, a worship ceremony at Chao Mae Nang Non shrine, a merit making ceremony for the spirit of Lt Commander Saman, and a traditional life prolonging rite for observers at this ceremony.
The ceremony was participated in by the Protected Area Regional Office 15 Director Kamolchai Kotcha, Mae Sai District Chief Prasong Lhaon, Tham Luang – Khun Nam Nang Non National Park chief Kawee Prasompol, officials from local government agencies, and villagers from Mae Sai and surrounding districts.
All the rescued footballers and their coach, as well as Mrs Waleeporn Gunan, the widow of the late Mr. Saman, also attended the ceremony.
A seminar sharing the strategy and experiences of those involved in the rescue mission also took place following religious ceremonies in the morning, along with a discussion on the development of Tham Luang as a learning center and lasting record of the incident, an extraordinary cave ecosystem, and speleological attraction of the future.