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

06:56  12 july  2018
06:56  12 july  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

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.

Dr Harris and retired Perth vet and cave diving expert Craig Challen today thanked the international rescue team involved in the mammoth task and took a photo with staff at the Chang Rai hospital.

She also praised his diving partner , Craig Challen , a vet from Perth who accompanied Dr Harris into the caves. The pair were part of a team of 20 Australians, including police and navy divers , who assisted in the operation.

Dr Richard Harris and his dive partner Craig Challen have issued a statement thanking people for their support and words of encouragement after the successful cave dive rescue of 12 trapped boys and their football coach.

The Adelaide doctor was the last person out of the cave after the daring mission.

He was tasked with giving the medical all-clear for each evacuation and decided what order the boys would leave the cave in.

Australian doctor Richard Harris (right), along with his dive partner Craig Challen.© AAP Image/Supplied by DFAT Australian doctor Richard Harris (right), along with his dive partner Craig Challen. "We would like to thank everyone for the messages of support we have received following the successful extraction of the team and Royal Thai Navy Seals from the cave," the statement reads.

Thai cave rescue: Australian diver Craig Challen confirms boys and coach heavily sedated for rescue mission

  Thai cave rescue: Australian diver Craig Challen confirms boys and coach heavily sedated for rescue mission One of the two Australians who were with the Thai football team and helped them escape safely from the flooded Tham Luong cave confirms the boys and their coach were heavily sedated during the delicate extraction operation.

Richard Harris (centre) with diving partner Craig Challen (second from left) and DFAT staff members in Mae Sai, Thailand. Colleagues of the Australian doctor who played a central role in the Thailand cave rescue have praised his actions in helping bring the 12 boys and their coach to safety.

Richard Harris and his dive partner Craig Challen , and the team of doctors he worked with and DFAT officers. Fairfax Media spoke briefly to Harris on Wednesday morning but he declined to comment.

"The favourable outcome that has been achieved is almost beyond our imagination when we first became involved in this operation.

"We are humbled to have been able to provide our expertise and experience to assist in this international operation led by the Thai government."

Australian doctor Richard Harris (centre), and the medical team he worked with to assist in the rescue of 12 Thai boys who were stuck in an underground cave with their soccer coach, but have since been rescued.© AAP Image/Supplied by DFAT Australian doctor Richard Harris (centre), and the medical team he worked with to assist in the rescue of 12 Thai boys who were stuck in an underground cave with their soccer coach, but have since been rescued. Yesterday it emerged Dr Harris had been told his father had passed away shortly after the cave rescue.

He and Craig Challen were among 20 Australians involved in the Thai-led rescue effort.

They also thanked the football team for "placing their trust in us" to get out safely.

Thai cave rescue: Australian doctor who was last one out now grieving father's death

  Thai cave rescue: Australian doctor who was last one out now grieving father's death <p>The Australian doctor who was the last man out of the Thai cave following the rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team found out shortly afterwards his father had died.</p>Dr Harris's boss, Dr Andrew Pearce, says he has spoken with "Harry", as he is known.

Dr Richard Harris , right, with his dive partner Craig Challen . Photo: DFAT. Ms Bishop said Dr Harris was internationally renowned for his cave rescue expertise, and headed a cave rescue operation.

Cave diver and anaesthetist Dr Richard Harris from Adelaide, dived with the rescue team on Sunday to medically assess the 12 boys and their coach tra

"Our thanks and greatest admiration go the British lead divers, and support divers along the route in and out of the cave system from the EU, US, China and Australia, as well as the vast number of participants from military and civilian organisations in various support roles," the statement continued.

"Additionally, we were only a small part of an Australian contingent comprising personnel from DFAT, AFP, and ADF who performed valuable roles.

"We particularly would like to thank the players and their coach for placing their trust in us. We wish them a speedy recovery.

"Thank you."

Video has since emerged from inside the cave, revealing the perilous passageways the rescue workers had to traverse to free the 12 trapped boys and their football coach.

All 12 are now being monitored in hospital, and further video released overnight shows them smiling and in good spirits.

Thai Navy SEALs send condolences to Dr Richard Harris .
The Thai Navy SEALs have thanked Australia for their help with the Tham Luang cave rescue.The Thai Navy SEALs have thanked Australia for their help with the Tham Luang cave rescue, and shared their sympathy with Dr Richard Harris, whose father passed away after the mission finished.

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