Irish-based cave diver "risked his life" to rescue boys from flooded Thailand cave 2 years ago

Irish-based cave diver "risked his life" to rescue boys from flooded Thailand cave

Incredible efforts from a brave man.

An Irish-based cave diver has been hailed as a hero following his efforts in rescuing the young Wild Boar soccer team and their coach who found themselves trapped in Tham Luang cave in Thailand.

Shortly after 12.30pm GMT on Tuesday, Thai Navy Seals confirmed that all 12 boys – aged between 11 and 16 – and their coach had been successfully freed from the cave, having been trapped for over a fortnight.

Among those part of the rescue operation was a man by the name of Jim Warny, a Belgian national who has lived in Ennis, County Clare since 2004.

A member of the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation, Warny answered the call for help from the British Cave Rescue Council and promptly flew out on Friday.

His efforts have been praised by Clare councillor Mary Howard, who took to Facebook to note that Warny "risked his life and his health, risked his own son losing his father, so he could bring 12 boys and an adult back to their families."

"A close family friend today told me, 'Jim did not hesitate for a moment when he was called to help rescue the Thai group stranded in a cave,'" said Howard.

"'He has dropped work, risked his life and health, risked his own son Ciaran losing his father, so he could bring 12 boys and an adult back to their families. His cave-diving experience and big heart made the mission a success!

"'When we turn our heads away from terrifying images on TV, he was right there ‘privileged' (as he said) to be asked to help them. Brave, strong, dedicated, focus but also sensitive and gentle.'"

Howard revealed that she intends to speak with her colleagues at Clare County Council in the next few days to ensure that "we as a community and council recognise the bravery of this incredible man."

Elsewhere, Manchester United have extended an invitation to the Wild Boars Football Club and their rescuers to Old Trafford this coming season.