Rick Stanton and John Volanthen are the British cave diving experts who first located the missing Thai soccer team and now are charged with helping bring them out in what is expected to be a treacherous, multi-day journey through narrow passageways.
The story of the Thai soccer team and their coach, who have been trapped in Tham Luang Cave area in northern Chiang Rai province since June 23, 2018, has produced heroes – among them Stanton and Volanthen – and tragedy, as a Thai Navy Seal, Sgt. Major Saman Gunan, lost his life valiantly trying to deliver oxygen canisters. Stanton’s full name is Richard Stanton. The two British cave divers have been referred to as the “A Team” in their field. A third British cave diver, Robert Harper, is also involved in the Thai cave rescue of the boys, ages 11 to 16, and their coach.
On July 7, 2018, Thai officials indicated it was “D-Day” and said the cave rescue was beginning. It’s expected the first boy will be brought out of the cave around 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. Eastern time in the United States. The Thai Navy Seals, who are assisting in the cave rescue, posted this photo before it launched:
Who are Rick Stanton and John Volanthen? How did they get involved in cave diving?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Stanton & Volanthen Found the Boys Huddled in the Cave & Took a Video Seen Around the World
Two British divers Richard William Stanton (L) and John Volanthen (C) walk to the Tham Luang cave area at Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province on July 3, 2018 after finding the children and football coach alive in the cave.
Rick Stanton and John Volanthen already helped perform one miracle: They discovered the boys, still alive, inside the bowels of the cave after the soccer team had been missing for nine days. They had arrived in Thailand three days after the boys were first reported missing. Now, they are part of the team that will try to guide the boys out.
The video footage the men took of the moment they located the boys in the cave warmed hearts around the world. According to the Guardian, Bill Whitehead, vice chair of the British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC), said Stanton and Volanthen “were pushing ahead with the other divers following on behind, creating dumps of air bottles. They managed to dive the last section and get through into the chamber where the missing party were on a ledge above the water.”
“How many of you?” the men asked the boys. They responded “Thirteen!” “Thirteen?” says Volanthen. “Brilliant.” One of the men told the boys the rescue would have to wait at that time, saying: “Not today. There’s two of us. We have to dive. We are coming. OK? Many people are coming. We are the first.”
Now, the expert cave divers from Great Britain “will guide the …read more