A Clare – based diver is among those who’ve been thanked by the Thai Prime Minister for helping rescue 12 boys and their football coach from a cave.
They were freed by a team of Thai navy seals and dozens of divers from around the world.
The youth football team was trapped for 2 weeks before a major rescue operation was launched involving Thai navy SEALS and international cave divers.
The rescue operation ended yesterday after all 12 youngsters and their coach were freed – they’re recovering in hospital where they’re being mentally and physically assessed.
Jim Warny from Belgium, who is a member of the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation, has been living in Ennis for the past 15 years, and flew out on Friday to assist in the mission after an appeal from Thai authorities.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha there says all involved showed great determination and sacrifice.
Jim Warny, who works in Lufthansa in Shannon, completed the longest traverse of water-filled underground caves in Ireland and Britain in 2010 and was previously a diving instructor in Kilkee.
John Underhill of Burren Vets, who knows him through diving and abseiling, is one of those paying tribute to him.
He believes that travelling abroad to take part in the mission says a lot about the type of person Jim is:
Calls have now been made for Jim Warny’s contribution to the rescue to be formally acknowledged.
Ennis Fine Gael Councillor Mary Howard says its important to recognize his bravery.