In breaking news, a former Thai Navy SEAL diver has reportedly died from a lack of oxygen during efforts to extract 12 boys and their soccer coach from within a flooded cave.

Efforts to rescue the boys have been ramping up in recent hours, given imminent forecasts of heavy rain that will likely trap the group inside the cave for months until the rains subside.

However, the proposed extraction through the tight and flooded cave is extremely treacherous, and a short time ago the Associated Press issued reports that one diver has died from a lack of oxygen during on-going attempts to reach the boys and rescue them.

Further reports suggest the diver died making a return trip back to the cave’s entrance.

Thai officials have stated that today’s death will not slow down rescue efforts, as additional divers work to install extra oxygen tanks along the cave’s tight and difficult flooded passageways.

Weather forecasts are severely hampering rescue efforts, with Thailand’s wettest periods fast approaching.

UPDATE: Officials have confirmed the diver, identified as Saman Kunan, was delivering oxygen to the tunnel route. He tragically ran out on his return trip and could not be revived by colleagues.

More on this story as it develops.

Image: Getty Images / Linh Pham