British diver returns home after football team rescue

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British diver John Volanthen smiles for the camera at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.
British diver John Volanthen smiles for the camera at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.

Bangkok – The British diver, John Volanthen, who first located the 12 boys and their coach missing inside a Thai cave complex, has arrived home in England to a warm welcome at Heathrow International Airport.

Volanthen, a member of the British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC), was one of the two British divers who found the Thai boys and their coach. He said during an interview with a group of reporters at the airport that he was pleased to hear that all of them had been brought out of the cave safely this week, after being trapped for 18 days.

He added that he and Jason Mallinson, the other diver, were not heroes and that the rescue would not have been possible without the contributions of all divers, soldiers, civilians and the Royal Thai Navy. Volanthen also praised former Thai navy seal Saman Kunan, who died during the mission, while expressing his condolences to his family.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull thanked cave diver and anesthetist Dr. Richard Harris for his participation in the rescue adding that Australian people were proud of him. Dr. Harris said earlier that it was one of the greatest opportunities to represent the Australian Federal Police in the historic rescue.