Australia Tragic backstory of Aussie dive hero

08:06  10 july  2018
08:06  10 july  2018 Source:   9news.com.au

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Tragic backstory of Aussie dive hero . The Australian doctor is being treated as a hero for his crucial role in the delicate mission to rescue the Thailand soccer boys trapped in a cave.

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An Australian doctor is being treated as a hero for his crucial role in the delicate mission to rescue the Thailand soccer boys trapped in a cave.

  Tragic backstory of Aussie dive hero © AAP Image/Oztek Richard “Harry” Harris is now a household name after giving up his holiday to assist in the operation.

He persuaded the Thailand medical team to get the weakest boys out first after swimming into the cave to assess whether they were fit enough to swim 1.7 kilometres out.

Dr Richard Harris and dive partner Craig Challen say thanks after successful dive rescue

  Dr Richard Harris and dive partner Craig Challen say thanks after successful dive rescue <p>Dr Richard Harris and his dive partner Craig Challen have issued a statement after the successful cave dive rescue of 12 trapped boys and their football coach.</p>The Adelaide doctor was the last person out of the cave after the daring mission.

An Australian doctor and diver Richard Harris is part of the rescue team in Thailand. An Australian doctor and cave diving expert has played a critical role in the precarious mission to save a young Thai soccer team from their prison cave.

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a man looking at the camera: Richard Harris is part of the medical team that determined the boys' fitness to undertake the arduous 1.7km journey. Picture: AAP © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Richard Harris is part of the medical team that determined the boys' fitness to undertake the arduous 1.7km journey. Picture: AAP

“Hero Harry” was the headline splashed across the front page of Adelaide’s The Advertiser today.

But the 53-year-old expert cave diver and anaesthetist from Adelaide also knows exactly how tragically these dangerous scenarios can play out.

He was part of the specialist team who worked to retrieve the body of his friend Agnes Milowka, 29, who lost touch with a group of divers in Tank Cave, South Australia, in 2011.

At the time, her tragic death shook the international diving community.

The experienced Melbourne diver had performed as a stunt diver for two female characters in James Cameron's action thriller Sanctum.

Thai cave rescue: At the heart of the operation was an Aussie diving group called the Wet Mules

  Thai cave rescue: At the heart of the operation was an Aussie diving group called the Wet Mules They have travelled the world, pushing the limits of exploration of the most challenging caves, but the Thai cave rescue will undoubtedly be the pinnacle of achievement for two members of the Wet Mules diving group.They have travelled the world, pushing the limits of exploration of the most technically challenging caves, but the Thai cave rescue will undoubtedly be the pinnacle of achievement for two of its members, Adelaide anaesthetist Richard Harris and Perth vet Craig Challen.

An Australian doctor and diver Richard Harris is part of the rescue team in Thailand. An Australian doctor and cave diving expert has played a critical role in the precarious mission to save a young Thai soccer team from their prison cave.

An Australian doctor and diver Richard Harris is part of the rescue team in Thailand. An Australian doctor and cave diving expert has played a critical role in the precarious mission to save a young Thai soccer team from their prison cave.

a person posing for a picture: Agnes Milowka explored caves locally and internationally. Picture: Facebook © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Agnes Milowka explored caves locally and internationally. Picture: Facebook She had also explored caves locally and internationally, and worked for National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. 

It was not her first time in the Mount Gambier cave.

A few months earlier, she had called it the “crowning jewel” of caves in the area in an article on her website.

a close up of a green curtain: It was not Agnes Milowka's first time in the Mount Gambier cave. Picture: Facebook © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd It was not Agnes Milowka's first time in the Mount Gambier cave. Picture: Facebook

“The cave is stunning; it is relatively shallow; there is no flow to fight and the water is crystal clear - you can't go wrong really,” she wrote.

She died after running out of air when parting company with her group to explore a confined space.

Although, Ms Milowka was unable to be saved, Dr Harris, who has been diving for more than 30 years, is being praised by people across the world for his efforts in Thailand.

Why doesn't the Thai soccer team dive out of the cave? It's a dangerous option, but could be their only hope

  Why doesn't the Thai soccer team dive out of the cave? It's a dangerous option, but could be their only hope <p>Australian cave diver and engineer Ron Allum said even for an experienced diver, the journey would be "quite scary".</p>Now that the 12 boys and the soccer coach have been found inside the sprawling Tham Luang cave complex, all attention is now on how rescuers can get them out.

An Australian doctor and diver Richard Harris is part of the rescue team in Thailand. An Australian doctor and cave diving expert has played a critical role in the precarious mission to save a young Thai soccer team from their prison cave.

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He is one of 19 Australians involved in the rescue mission, which is headed by Chiang Rai former governor Narongsak Osottanakorn.

Back home, his colleagues are admiring his critical role in the precarious missing.

“Harry is selfless, he’s extremely thoughtful, he’s a quiet person,” colleague Dr Andrew Pearce told 9NEWS.

“He happens to have this amazing ability to do what no-one else does by diving into very dark, tight spaces with no a lot of equipment.

“Harry’s in a very technical, demanding area but he’s well-trained.”

a close up of a rock: Richard Harris is an expert diver from South Australia. Picture: Facebook © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Richard Harris is an expert diver from South Australia. Picture: Facebook The initial plan was to get the strongest boys out first but it was reversed when Dr Harris inspected the health and mental state of the boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach.

The team are members of the Mu Pa Academy Mae Sai football club and have been trapped inside the Tham Luang cave since June 23.

On Monday, the first and weakest four boys were rescued and taken to Chiang Rai Hospital.

Yesterday, another four were freed.

a group of people walking in the grass: A stretcher carrying what is believed to be a fifth boy rescued from a cave in northern Thailand is carried from an ambulance. (AAP) © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd A stretcher carrying what is believed to be a fifth boy rescued from a cave in northern Thailand is carried from an ambulance. (AAP) The rescue operation is due to resume later today.

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