'We are not heroes', says United Kingdom diver involved in Thai cave rescue

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A British diver who led efforts to rescue a trapped boys soccer team in Thailand returned to the United Kingdom on Thursday.

The pair are both members of the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team.

'The diving conditions were extremely challenging, there was poor visibility and responsibility for another human being's life.

"We should never underestimate what they individually, collectively went through", Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said. "My job was to transfer them along", former Navy Seal Chaiyananta Peeranarong told the AFP news agency.

The boys meant to explore the cave for just an hour, a casual jaunt to relax after soccer practice, but the waters rose.

An worldwide team of cave divers and Thai navy SEALs extracted the 12 boys and coach in a high-risk, three-day mission that concluded Tuesday.

It's an inspiring story fit for Hollywood: 12 courageous young soccer players trapped in a flooded cave for two weeks, dauntless rescuers risking life and limb to save the team, a wave of support from dozens of countries as the world watched with bated breath for the rescuers to emerge victorious with the Wild Boars safe in hand.

With them are six Australian Federal Police cave divers, one Defence diver and a support crew who have been described as integral to the rescue operation.

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"He's got a very good bedside manner, he's got a very bouncy Australian accent, and they seemed to find that quite relaxing and reassuring", British diver John Volanthen said.

The twelfth boy and the coach were freed from the complex late Tuesday, after a complicated three-day operation to extricate the boys, who became trapped on June 23 when rising flood water cut off the exit, deep inside the cave.

The 12 boys remain in hospital in Chiang Rai. "But I think at that point we realized the enormity of the situation and that's perhaps why it took awhile to get them all out".

Speaking on his return to the UK, Mr Stanton said: 'Are we heroes?

Dr Harris and long time dive partner Craig Challen are up for our highest civilian honour, the Cross of Valour.

"They, all 13 of them, saw a small passage or a crawl space, so they all dug the hole to get through to another spot, until they found Nen Nom Sao", Banphot said, referring to the sandy slope on which they ended up sheltering.

Sadly, soon after Dr Harris left the cave his father passed away suddenly. "And be careful in the future", Jason Mallison, a diver for the British Cave Rescue Council, said when asked by reporters in Thailand if there was anything he wanted to tell the rescued members of the Wild Boar soccer team.

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