The Art of Risk

Richard Harris, a former Australian of the Year and one of the rescuers of the Thai soccer team (now the subject of the Netflix series, Thai Cave Rescue), investigates why people are drawn to dangerous activities and what we may learn from their experience.

Richard Harris book cover
Richard Harris
Publishing Info

Available: 5th July 2023
ISBN: 9781761106774
288 Pages plus color inserts

Dr Richard Harris, also known as Harry to his friends, entered a remote cave in northern Thailand in June 2018 while the entire world was watching in an effort to rescue a Thai youth soccer team that had become trapped by flash flooding. He made advantage of his recreational diving abilities to go miles into the underground cave network and his professional anesthesia abilities to tranquilize the trapped youngsters so they could be dived and taken to safety. All twelve boys and their coach made it through against all odds.

In The Art of Risk, Harry interviews risk-takers who share his philosophy about adventure and asks them what it is about defying death that gives them such a sense of life. Through the eyes of risk-takers and adventurers, including soldiers, pilots, mountaineers, rock climbers, deep-sea divers, sailors, big-wave surfers, firefighters, and rally-car racers—both professional and amateur—he hopes to examine the active pursuit of danger. His chats help us understand these people's motivations and the reasons why a life without risk isn't really a life at all. He feels that by undertaking "the difficult things," one can push oneself a little further and develop greater strength, bravery, and resilience.

About the author

Anesthetist and cave diver Dr Richard "Harry" Harris, SC, OAM, co-2019 Australian of the Year, was instrumental in the success of the Tham Luang cave rescue in northern Thailand. He works for the South Australian Ambulance department's medical retrieval department and has more than 30 years of experience as a cave diver. Along with Craig Challen, he is the co-author of Against all Odds, a first-person story of the heroic Australians at the centre of the Thai cave rescue. He is an Adelaide resident.