British cave divers laud Thai Navy Seals for their courage, skills


Bangkok – The Thai Navy Seals’ Facebook account has posted a statement issued by the British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC), saying the BCRC officers “have been in awe of the courage displayed by the Thai Navy Seals and what they managed to achieve without specialist equipment”.

The statement was issued following the successful operation to rescue 12 boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old football coach, who were trapped in the flooded Tham Luang cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai for more than two weeks.

The Vice Chairman of the BCRC, Bill Whitehouse, said in the statement that its officers supporting and following the rescue operation from the United Kingdom have been in awe of what the Thai Navy Seals managed to achieve without specialist equipment, knowledge, and experience necessary to operate safely in the harsh environment of a cave diving situation.

“We were all devastated and saddened when one of the Seals lost his life, and at the end of the operation after the last boy was rescued we could not relax and celebrate until we had also heard that the four Seals who had been in ‘Chamber 9′ with the boys had also made their way out safely.

“I do hope the Thais have medals big enough for those guys,” Whitehouse said.

One of the BCRC divers who took part in the rescue mission, Chris Jewell, said he perceived that the Thai Navy Seals were “extremely brave and talented” as they were not familiar with operating in caves.

Jewell said he also admired the Seals’ abilities to adapt and learn throughout the operation.