CHIANG RAI — Twelve boys and their football coach shed tears and observed a minute of silence Sunday to thank their rescue hero.
After the football team regained their physical and mental health, doctors told them about Lt. Cmdr. Saman Kunan, who died July 6 during a mission to extract the 13 from a flooded cave in Chiang Rai province. After their rescue, they’ve spent the past week receiving treatment at Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital.
The boys and their 25-year-old coach wrote on a portrait of Saman with thank-you notes. According to their families, all 13 will ordain as Buddhist monks to make merit for Saman, whose cremation took place Saturday afternoon in Roi Et province.
According to Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk of the health ministry, the 13 have been recovering and are expected to be discharged on Thursday. They will then recover at home and receive regular visits from doctors for a month.
The boys – aged 11 to 16 – spent 18 days trapped in a Luang Nang Non cave until they were rescued last week, in an operation which attracted worldwide media attention.