Saman Kunan was a former Underwater Demolition Assault Unit (UDAU) Operator, otherwise known as a Royal Thai Navy SEAL. He died during the rescue operation to save a Thai youth soccer team trapped in the Tham Luang caves in northern Thailand. While on a run to deliver air to the soccer team, he lost consciousness after running out of air himself. His dive buddy pulled him out and tried to revive him, to no avail. Saman was 38 years old.
The rescue operation and the diving in particular was incredibly perilous. The 12 youths and their coach were trapped almost 3,000 meters from the cave entrance, with much of the tunnels and chambers submerged. The dive was in freezing cold water, in pitch black darkness, with small openings, sharp turns, and heavy currents. Constant rain meant the cave was continuing to flood. None of the children had dive experience and most couldn’t swim, and exfiltrating one child at a time required teams of divers several hours. Miraculously, all 13 members of the team were saved. The full story of the rescue operation can be read on the BBC website. Also an excellent start-to-finish rundown on SOFREP.com.
A former Petty Officer 1st class, Saman Kunan was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander by His Majesty the King of Thailand and awarded the royal decoration of Knight Grand Cross (First Class) for his heroism.
Lt Commander Saman Kunan Tribute WOD
6 rounds of:
- 500m sandbag run
- 13 sandbag step-ups
- cone-to-cone bear crawl
- 13 sandbag get-ups
Post-WOD: foam roller and lacrosse ball party
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