Heroic welcome for Thai Navy SEAL team after Tham Luang success

14 July, 2018, 07:41 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Footage of divers pulling the last boys to safety from the flooded cave

Civic engineer Mike Clayton is from Shropshire and Gary Mitchell lives in Machynlleth. "But it's really the global team I would like to focus on and the Thai SEALs".

Mr Stanton, from Coventry, is a key member of the team that trains and operates across Powys and Mid Wales.

Divers who rescued the Thai soccer team who were trapped in a cave first practiced on local children in a swimming pool.

Fellow British rescuers John Volanthen and Rick Stanton said that Dr Richard "Harry" Harris had a great relationship with the boys while they were trapped in the cave system, the Herald Sun reports.

It is believed the youngest child, aged 11, was one of the last to be freed, although it was the boys' 25-year-old coach who was the last to be rescued.

Banphot said all 13 rescued team members will enter the monkhood to pay tribute to Saman Kunan, a former Thai navy SEAL who died while diving to place essential supplies along the rescue route.

Speaking on his return to the UK, Mr Stanton said: 'Are we heroes?

"What we do is very calculating". So, of course there were doubts.

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After landing at Heathrow on Thursday, Volanthen spoke of the relief he had felt at making contact with the boys. Unbelievable", he said. "They looked in good health, but of course when we departed all we could think about was how we were going to get them out. Then the problem became how to get them back out through the tunnels, some completely full of fast-flowing flood water. "And so there was relief tempered with uncertainty".

Mr Stanton would not describe how his team rescued the children, saying it was "too detailed for this point in time".

They survived on snacks they brought with them and by drinking water running down cave walls, authorities said. "They just sat quietly without doing anything because it was dark", said Banpot, recounting what his son, who is still in the hospital, had told him.

As well as Mr Stanton, fellow divers Chris Jewell and Connor Roe, both from Somerset; Josh Bratchley, from Devon; Jim Warny, from Co Clare, Ireland; Mike Clayton, from Yorkshire; and Gary Mitchell, from Wales, returned to the United Kingdom on Friday.

Twelve boys and their soccer coach rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand planned to explore the cavern complex for only about an hour before treacherous flood waters rose to trap them for more than two weeks, one of the boys' fathers said.

Mr Jewell said: "The diving conditions were extremely challenging, there was poor visibility and responsibility for another human being's life".

"The part we played has been made out to be a lot more noble than it actually was".

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