Boy Whose 2018 Rescue Captivated the World Has Died

Duangphet Phromthep was captain of the soccer team trapped in a Thai cave
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2023 8:44 AM CST
One of the Boys Famously Rescued From Cave Has Died
Relatives of Duangphet "Dom" Phromthep, one of the boys rescued from the flooded cave in northern Thailand, greet him as he arrives home in the Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, July 18, 2018.   (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)

The world watched as 12 boys were rescued from a flooded Thai cave in 2018. On Wednesday came the news that one of those boys has died. The cause of Duangphet Phromthep's death is unclear: CNN reports he suffered an unspecified accident; the BBC reports the 17-year-old was found unconscious in his dorm and later died at a hospital after possibly suffering a head injury. Phromthep, who was captain of the Wild Boars youth soccer team, was studying at a soccer academy in Leicestershire, England, at the time of his death.

He and his teammates became trapped with their coach in a cave for more than two weeks before a harrowing rescue that involved each boy being taken out of the cave by two divers, with each individual removal from the cave taking hours. "His grinning face, caught by the torch light of a diver after the boys were found in the cave, was one of the most memorable images from the rescue," reports the BBC.

CNN flags a tribute posted on Facebook by Prajak Sutham, one of the boys Phromthep was trapped with: "We have been through together a lot, good and bad times. We had went through life and death situations together, when you told me to wait and see the time you became a national player. I always believed that you could do it. Last time we met before you left to UK, I jokingly told you that, when you’re back I would ask for your signature. Rest in Peace Bro, we always have each other, the 13 of us." (Read more Thai cave rescue stories.)

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