The British divers who discovered trapped Thai crew aren’t any strangers to perilous rescues


John Volanthen and Richard “Rick” Stanton are knowledgeable cave divers expert in navigating perilous underwater passages, a colleague says — they usually’ve been known as overseas earlier than to assist with troublesome rescues.

The BBC reported that Volanthen is an IT guide from Bristol, and Stanton is a retired firefighter from Coventry.

Each have in depth cave diving expertise and are members of a volunteer crew — the British Cave Rescue Council — that makes itself obtainable for rescue efforts around the globe, BCRC liaison officer Chris Jewell mentioned.

Jewell talked to each males on Monday evening, after they exited the cave.

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“Rick and John put in a tenet — a line that may then be subsequently adopted by the Thai Navy SEALs,” Jewell mentioned in a Skype interview with CNN from Manchester, England.

The lads left behind a few lights and a few meals earlier than heading again, Jewell mentioned.

“Rick and John have now stepped again from operational diving while the Thai Navy SEALs proceed to conduct work within the cave, making a number of journeys to the boys to drop off provides and take care of them while they plan the extraction,” he mentioned.

‘Few cave divers on the earth have (their) expertise’

Each males have been honored for his or her earlier rescue work.

In October 2010, the volunteers had been known as to France, the place they tried to discover a diver who did not re-emerge after exploring a submerged cave greater than a kilometer lengthy.

John Volanthen
Any exploration was troublesome, requiring specialised tools and “prolonged, deliberate decompression stops,” an account from the UK’s Royal Humane Society mentioned.

The lacking man had been the one individual to ever discover the chamber past 700 meters, and he was making an attempt to transcend that when he disappeared.

“Few cave divers on the earth have the talents and tools to comply with this man, and the closest had been Richard and John,” the society’s account mentioned.

Richard Stanton

After a number of dives, Volanthen and Stanton discovered a well past a blockage and found the diver’s physique.

Princess Alexandra awarded them a Royal Humane Society medal at Buckingham Palace for the rescue try in 2012.

Stanton additionally helped with a rescue of 13 British cavers in Mexico in 2004, the BBC reported. The firefighter was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire at the end of 2012 for companies to native authorities.

‘A gnarly dive’

Their expertise had been on show Monday. One of many divers described their work in an e-mail to a BCRC official.

“The outline in his e-mail was it was a little bit of a gnarly dive, which suggests there have been issues and issues,” mentioned Invoice Whitehouse, the council’s vice chairman. “Fairly a powerful movement, present, in order that they’re having to swim towards the present and pull themselves alongside the partitions. The visibility within the water would not have been excellent.”

Volanthen’s mom, Jill Volanthen, advised the BBC she had “absolute pleasure” in her son’s work, and she or he felt “absolute aid” for the youngsters.

“However I do not assume it is throughout but. Allow them to get them out first,” she mentioned of the trapped crew.

CNN’s Phil Black, Becky Anderson and Barbara Arvanitidis contributed to this report.

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