Rescue hero Sgt. Sam’s family given sales from special showing of ‘The Cave’

A statue of Saman Kunan, the retired Navy SEAL who died during 2018’s cave rescue effort. Photo: Coconuts
A statue of Saman Kunan, the retired Navy SEAL who died during 2018’s cave rescue effort. Photo: Coconuts

The family of the retired Navy SEAL killed during last year’s cave rescue saga was handed the proceeds from a special screening by the makers of a dramatic adaptation of the events.

Valepon Gunan, whose husband Sgt. Saman Kunan became a national hero after he drowned during the rescue effort, was given THB100,000 on Sunday following a screening of The Cave at Bangkok’s EmQuartier shopping mall, according to the film’s director, Tom Waller. Saman’s cousin, Pattaratida Boonlium, was also present.

Saman had retired from the navy and was working in an airport security job when he answered the call to help. He died at 37 on July 6, 2018, while on a resupply dive, the only fatality in the risky operation portrayed in the film that opened Thursday. It includes two scenes of archival footage of Saman, including a video he famously posted prior to boarding a flight to Chiang Rai.

Late last year, a statue of Saman designed by national artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, of Chiang Rai’s famed White Temple, was erected outside the cave, which has become a popular tourist site.

For our completely biased thoughts about the film, check out the latest episode of The Coconuts Podcast.

 

From left, film director Tom Waller, Saman's widow Valepon Gunan, his cousin Pattaratida Boonlium and Belgian-Irish rescue diver Jim Warny. Photo: Courtesy
From left, film director Tom Waller, Saman’s widow Valepon Gunan, his cousin Pattaratida Boonlium and Belgian-Irish rescue diver Jim Warny. Photo: Courtesy

Related:

Creator of famed White Temple to build monument to former SEAL diver who died in cave rescue
Survive ‘The Cave,’ experience the rescue in VR
Thailand to get first look at ‘The Cave’ movie

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