Hero Brit diver who helped save boys trapped in Thai cave returns home to UK

One of the hero Brit divers who helped save the young football team trapped in a cave in Thailand has touched down on UK soil.

John Volanthen was one of the first divers to find the boys in the cave complex in northern Thailand – nine days after they had gone missing.

John is believed to have caught the Thai Airways flight TG 910 departing at 1.08am which landed at London Heathrow at 7.07am today.

Rick Stanton and John were the first divers to reach the group nine days after they went missing in the underground network.



The pair, along with a number of other British elite divers had flown to the region to assist at the request of Thai authorities.

On Tuesday the last of the Wild Boars football team were brought safely to the surface and taken to hospital.

John and Jason Mallinson have both been awarded free flights for life to Thailand following the miraculous rescue.

The two divers got a connecting flight from Bangkok and they touched down at Suvarnabhumi Airport to a heroes’ welcome from Thai ministers who gave them certificates and gift medals.

Asked what his message was, Jason said: "I’m very glad we could get you out alive. Be careful in future."

The exhausted pair trudged through the airport in their shorts, t-shirt and backpacks before meeting Tourism Minister Wirasak Kowsoorad.

He told them: "This is to show our appreciation, our Prime Minister asked for you to given this.

"Thank you so much for your effort. It was a great rescue and we very appreciate it.

"Now, both of you, you will always be welcome, any time, you have so many friends here."

Writing on Twitter, former Conservative Party treasurer Lord Ashcroft suggested Mr Stanton and Mr Volanthen could be awarded the George Cross or George Medal for their bravery.

The George Cross is the highest civilian honour in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.

Others called for the pair to be given knighthoods for their "heroic efforts".

Businesswoman Tracey Follows tweeted: "Knighthoods for the British divers involved please. True bravery and superhero status."

Thais reacted with relief, gratitude and exhilaration after the last group of the "Wild Boars" soccer team was rescued from the Tham Luang cave, near the border with Myanmar, on Tuesday night, ending an ordeal that gripped Thailand and the world.



Read More

Thai cave rescue

  • How did they get trapped?
  • Calls to honour hero Brit divers
  • Fears trapped boys have cave disease
  • Boys and coach ALL saved

They were taken by helicopter to a hospital about 70 km (45 miles) away to join their team mates in quarantine for the time being.

"From our assessment, they are in good condition and not stressed. The children were well taken care of in the cave. Most of the boys lost an average of 2 kg," Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, an inspector for Thailand’s health department, told reporters.

Parents of the first four boys freed on Sunday have been able to visit them but had to wear protective suits and stand 2 metres (7 feet) away as a precaution.

Source: Read Full Article