We are all familiar with the story of the Wild Boars football team, and how 12 boys and their coach went missing on Saturday 23 June 2018, after monsoon rains trapped them inside the Tham Luang cave.
When the news broke locally in Thailand the first foreign on the scene offering his help was a Brit. More specifically Vern Unsworth, an active, experienced caver of more than 40 years standing.
Vern Unsworth was pivotal to the entire operation. Rick Stanton
Unsworth told CNN “I got called out at 02.00 Sunday morning (24 June) saying that children were missing in Tham Luang. Can I come and help? I drove straight to the cave and I was there for the whole 17 days.”
Unsworth's comprehensive knowledge of the cave system and the personnel on the British Cave Rescue Council call out list was to prove vital to the overall success of the rescue mission.
Today - Wednesday 12 June 2019 - Vern Unworth was made a Member of British Empire by Prince William. Unsworth described the experience of being made an MBE for his service to cave diving as "very humbling and fascinating."
Vern Unsworth stated "This was a team effort and I'm very honoured to have been recognised, particularly as you don't engage in a major rescue expecting this outcome. For me, after saving the boys, this is the icing on the cake."