Yorkshire Thailand cave rescue hero is honoured in his hometown

Jason Mallinson
Jason Mallinson
0
Have your say

One of the brave team of divers who rescued the young Thai football team from a flooded cave will be honoured in his hometown on Wednesday.

Jason Mallinson who has “pushed the boundaries of what was thought possible in the elite world of cave diving exploration” will receive an honorary doctorate at the University of Huddersfield.

The rescued soccer team members pose with a sketch of the Thai Navy SEAL diver who died while trying to rescue them

The rescued soccer team members pose with a sketch of the Thai Navy SEAL diver who died while trying to rescue them

He was part of the intricate rescue mission involving 12 young boys and their football coach in Luang Nang Non Cave.

They entered the cave system on June 23 last year and all were brought out safely in an operation that ended 18 days later.

To bring off the rescue successfully the youngsters were heavily sedated, attached to breathing apparatus and strapped to a specially-adapted sled, for the treacherous two-hour, underwater journey through a narrow cave system that posed many hazards.

Mr Mallinson, of the British Cave Rescue Council, fetched out four of the boys, including the last youngster.

Prime Minister Theresa May with the Thai Ambassador Pisanu Suvanajata (centre right) at Downing Street, London with the divers and support team from the British Cave Rescue Council following the rescue last year

Prime Minister Theresa May with the Thai Ambassador Pisanu Suvanajata (centre right) at Downing Street, London with the divers and support team from the British Cave Rescue Council following the rescue last year

Media observers noted the Yorkshire diver’s imperturbability but he also confessed to high emotion when he carried the final youngster to safety.

The exploit – followed by global media – has led to numerous awards for the vastly experienced cave diver, who has set records and carried out rescues around the world, including that of six British cavers from Mexico’s Cueva de Alpazat cave system.

Dr Kiara Lewis, who heads the University’s Department of Sport and Exercise Science will deliver a special tribute when the diver receives his award at the graduation ceremony at the School of Human and Health Sciences.

It is the latest award for Mr Mallinson, who has previously been awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal, and with colleagues an Outstanding Bravery Award at the Pride of Britain Awards 2018.

According to his mother, Anne, her “very unassuming, modest” son was one of those “just born to do extraordinary things” taking to cave diving as a 16-year-old “like a duck to water”.