The father of one of the Thai boys whose rescue from a flooded cave transfixed the world has revealed how the Wild Boars team intend to honour the memory of the Navy SEAL diver who died during the rescue attempt.
Banphot Konkum, father of 13-year-old Duangpetch Promthep, told The Associated Press his son — better known by his nickname, Dom — and the other rescued team members will enter monkhood to pay tribute to Saman Kunan, the former Thai navy SEAL who died while diving to place essential supplies along the rescue route.
Becoming a monk at a temple for at least a short period is a way of making merit in Thai Buddhist tradition.
"We are planning the date and will do it whenever all the families are all ready," said Banphot.
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Dom's grandmother, Kameay Promthep said she would tell Dom never to go near the cave or water again because she doesn't want anything to happen to him or for him to cause trouble to others again.
"I will tell Dom that he has to thank all the Thai people from all over the country and people from all over the world who were kind enough to come and help Dom. Without the (Thai navy) SEALs, the officials, and everyone who came and helped, Dom wouldn't be here today. He would not be seeing his Grandma, and Grandma wouldn't see his face again. From now on, Dom will have to be a good person."
The family members of the Thai boys have now been reunited with them at the hospital in Chiang Rai where they are being kept for observation.
Initially the families could only see the boys through a glass window. They can now speak face-to-face though still not touch, as a precaution against the spread of illnesses.
The Thai health minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn confirmed today that the boys would be released from hospital on Thursday.
"We need to prepare both the children and their families for the attention they will receive when they come out," he said.