Wild Boars football team captain Khun Dom Duangphet Phromthep, who was one of the 12 boys rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018, has died unexpectedly in the United Kingdom.
The Zico Foundation, a Thai non-profit organization that funded Dom’s football scholarship at Brook House College Football Academy in Leicester, confirmed his death on Tuesday.
“Zico Foundation would like to express our sorrow for the pass of Dom Duangpet Phromthep, a scholarship student from Zico foundation,” the organization wrote on social media.
According to the BBC, the 17-year-old was found unresponsive in his Leicestershire dorm room on Sunday.
He was rushed by ambulance to Kettering General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The teen’s cause of death is still unknown, but police in Leicestershire have stated that they are not treating the death as suspicious.
Brooke House College principal Ian Smith offered his condolences, saying that the college community was “deeply saddened” by the news of Promthep’s death.
“This event has left our college community deeply saddened and shaken,” said Ian Smith, the principal at Brooke House college. “We unite in grief with all of Dom’s family, friends, former teammates and those involved in all parts of his life, as well as everyone affected in any way by this loss in Thailand and throughout the college’s global family.”
“The college is liaising with statutory authorities and the Royal Thai embassy in London, and dedicating all resources to assist our student body, as they as young people process Dom’s passing. Beyond that, we are unable to comment further at this time and would ask for privacy and compassion as we continue to support the students in our care at this time, drawing on the kindness and assistance of the Market Harborough community,” he continued.
CNN’s Don Riddell spoke with the 2018 rescue mission’s lead diver, Rick Stanton, who said he and his colleagues were shocked to hear the news that the athlete had passed away at a very young age.
“When John Volanthen and I first found the Wild Boars at the end of a fraught nine day search, it was Dom who took the lead and wrote the first messages to the outside world,” he said in an email.
“As a personal recollection, it was Dom whose unconscious body I swam with as I escorted him to safety on the second day of the rescue mission. I carefully held his precious life in my grasp, bearing the full weight of responsibility towards his survival through the most extreme of circumstances.”
Cave explorer Vernon Unsworth, who was also part of Dom’s rescue team, said, “Life is cruel.”
‘The sad thing is he was given the opportunity he wanted in life and now his life has suddenly been taken away,’ Unsworth told The New York Times.
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