English cave diver Richard Stanton was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year Honours list recently announced by Buckingham Palace.
It is the second honour of 2012 for 51-year-old Mr Stanton who earlier this year was awarded a Bronze Medal from the Royal Humane Society.
Rick Stanton received the honour in recognition of his service to the communities of the West Midlands as a firefighter and for the cave diving rescue services he carries out on a voluntary basis both in the UK and abroad.
Two years ago he was instrumental in a rescue attempt and recovery of the body of French diver Eric Establie who was trapped by silt inside the Ardeche Gorge, near Marseille. Mr Stanton has been involved with other rescue missions - he helped rescue six British soldiers who had become trapped in rising flood water in a cave in Mexico.
What is a MBE?
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George. The Order is composed of five classes in civil and military divisions.
The award bestowed by the Queen to those people who have made a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community. An MBE is also awarded for local ‘hands-on’ service which stands out as an example to other people
It isn’t particularly unusual for me to get official looking letters in the post because of my international rescue work, but when I got notification of this on behalf of the Palace I was absolutely astounded.