Aussie doctors bestowed Thai royal honors for cave rescue

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In this photo released by Government Spokesman Office, Richard Harris, an Australian member of the Thai cave rescue team, receives the Member of the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn in front of a portrait of HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun during the royal decoration ceremony at the Royal Thai Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, April 19, 2019. (Government Spokesman Office via AP)

Bangkok (AP) — Two Australian doctors in Thailand to receive royal honors for helping rescue a boys soccer team from a flooded cave say they are looking forward to a reunion with the people they helped save.

Richard Harris and Craig Challen were given the award at a ceremony Friday presided over by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. Four Australian officials involved with the rescue effort were also honored.

Both highly skilled divers, the doctors played key roles in rescuing members of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach in Chiang Rai province last July.

They said before the award ceremony they were looking forward to going to the northern province Monday to see how the boys are faring.

In this photo released by Government Spokesman Office, Craig Challen, an Australian member of the Thai cave rescue team, receives the Member of the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn in front of a portrait of HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun during the royal decoration ceremony at the Royal Thai Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, April 19, 2019.(Government Spokesman Office via AP)