Wild Boars football team captain Khun Dom Duangphet Fromthep, who was one of 12 boys rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018, has died unexpectedly in the UK.
The Zico Foundation, a Thai non-profit organization that funded Dom’s football scholarship to Leicester’s Brook House College Football Academy, confirmed his death on Tuesday.
“Zico Foundation wishes to express our sorrow for the passing of Dom Duangpet Phromthep, scholarship student of Zico Foundation,” the organization wrote on social media.
The 17-year-old was found unresponsive in her Leicestershire dorm room on Sunday, according to the BBC.
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He was taken by ambulance to Kettering General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The teenager’s cause of death is still unknown, but police in Leicestershire said they are not treating the death as suspicious.
Ian Smith, principal of Brookhouse College, offered his condolences, saying the college community was “deeply saddened” by the news of Pramthep’s death.
“This incident has deeply saddened and shocked our college community,” said Ian Smith, principal of Brookhouse College. “We join in mourning with all of Dom’s family, friends, former teammates and those involved in all parts of his life, as well as all those affected in any way by this loss in Thailand and throughout the College’s global family.”
“The college is liaising with the statutory authorities and the Royal Thai Embassy in London and devoting all resources to support our student body as they process the young people to pass the Dome. Beyond that, we are unable to comment further at this time and we ask for privacy and compassion as we continue to support the students in our care at this time, drawing on the kindness and support of the Market Harborough community,” he continued.
CNN’s Don Riddell spoke with Rick Stanton, the lead diver on the 2018 rescue mission, who said he and his colleagues were shocked to hear the news that the athlete had died so young.
“When John Volanthen and I found the wild boars at the end of the first nine-day search, it was Dom who took the lead and wrote the first message to the outside world,” he said in an email.
“As a personal memory, it was Dom whose unconscious body I swam with when I carried him to safety on the second day of the rescue operation. I held his precious life in my grasp, shouldering the full burden of responsibility for his survival under extreme circumstances.”
“Life is cruel,” said cave explorer Vernon Unsworth, who was also part of the Dome’s rescue team.
“The sad thing is that he was given the opportunity he wanted in life and now his life has been taken away so suddenly,” Unsworth told The New York Times.