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Officials said the diver would be given royally-sponsored funeral rites including a military funeral at the Satthahip Navy Base in Pattaya, and then in his hometown in the northern Thailand province of Roi Et. The rescuer passed out and died from a lack of oxygen while on a mission supplying oxygen canisters, authorities told the Associated Press.

Navy SEAL commander Rear Adm. Arpakorn Yookongkaew separately explained the ethic driving the SEALs' mission and why Saman's death would not deter them from their course.

The boys, aged 11-16, and their coach, 25, were trapped inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai after a football game on June 23. He says weather conditions have been in their favour and water levels have been falling over the last few days.

But the path to freedom is hugely unsafe for the boys, some of whom are unable to swim and have no scuba experience in an environment with low visibility that confounds even the most skilled.

Gunan, 38, formerly served in the Royal Thai Navy's Underwater Demolition Assault Unit, colloquially known as the Thai Navy SEALs.

The strategically placed canisters allow divers to stay underwater longer during the five-hour trip to reach the stranded team.

He was delivering oxygen tanks and on the way back he fell unconscious.

Narongsak said experts, who themselves have made the hard journey, were teaching them the rudiments of diving, but that the boys were not yet capable of an arduous and complicated mission.

The governor has said the 13 may not be extracted at the same time, depending on their condition.

Meanwhile, in the first official admission the boys can not wait out the monsoon season underground until October, authorities have warned the window of opportunity to free them is "limited". They've practiced wearing diving masks and breathing, in preparation for the diving possibility.

More heavy rain is expected at the weekend, which is set to complicate the rescue effort.

Officials hope an upgraded draining effort can lower the water in an area where it is still at or near the ceiling. The idea is to get some headroom so the boys would not be reliant on scuba apparatus for a long stretch and could keep their heads above water.

However, it was said that it was possible they would have to wait for at least four months until the monsoon season ends before they are rescued.

Officials warned on Friday that oxygen levels inside the cave have fallen and rescuers were racing to get more oxygen pipes into the cave.

His engineers are working with the army, exploring an area they believe to be just hundreds of metres from where the boys and their coach are trapped.

The statement Friday said: "We are impressed with the courage and strength the young boys and their coach have shown despite the scary circumstances they find themselves in".

Mr Musk said SpaceX and another of his firms, The Boring Company, had "advance ground penetrating radar" that is "pretty good at digging holes".

"There are probably many complexities that are hard to appreciate without being there in person".