'The hero in my heart': wife mourns dead Thai Navy SEAL

Retired PO1 Saman Kunan 38 was a retired Seal with no obligation to volunteer but joined the mission because he wished to'help bring the boys home

At least four boys who have been trapped inside a Thai cave for 15 days have been evacuated, according to a Thai Navy SEAL, as authorities race against time to free the remaining boys and their soccer coach who have been underground for more than two weeks.

The footage, released on the Thai Navy SEALs Facebook page, shows a complex operation with numerous divers - both foreign and Thai - using pulleys, ropes and rubber piping to haul members of the football team to safety.

"If you ask me if I'm sad, it's like I've died but I'm still alive".

His wife, Waleeporn, said her husband's death had been hard to comprehend. Every day before he left for work we said we loved each other.

"I want to tell you honey... you are the hero in my heart", Waleeporn said.

Saman was part of a rescue team made up of divers from some 50 countries, including Australia.

Yesterday, rescue mission chief and Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said Mr Gunan was the "hero of the Tham Luang cave", which was met with a huge cheer.

Waleeporn Gunan talked to the BBC about her husband, who died while trying to rescue the boys from Tham Luang cave.

Later Thai Navy SEALs posted clips from the painstaking rescue that was carried out in three phases ending Tuesday.

His funeral was held at a temple in the province of Roi Et in eastern Thailand, where friends, family and colleagues paid their respects.

His grieving father was also reported to be proud of his son's selfless deeds but was very sad to lose his beloved son. Today, you get some good rest.

Waleeporn said pride in her husband's actions was helping her with her grief. "Saman once said we never knew when we would die, we can't control that, so we need to cherish each day", she explained.

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