At the latter end of June and early July 2018, I along with the world, were glued to our television as we watched the extraordinary rescue of 12 boys and their coach, from a flooded cave system in Thailand.
The 'Wild Boars' football team and their coach had become stranded after sudden, torrential monsoon rain poured into Tham Luang cave. Within days two British cave divers - John Volanthen and Rick Stanton - along with British caver Rob Harper were dispatched to Thailand to assist an army of rescue personnel.
‘Thirteen Lives' is a case study in courage. Ron Howard, Oscar-winning director of Apollo
After 10 days of being lost underground, many of us, including John Volanthen and Rick Stanton thought the boys had died. Then news broke around the world that they had been found and we heard John ask THAT question. "How many of you?" "Thirteen" came the reply! "Brilliant!" responded John.
Diving the top option to evacuate 13 despite risk. The Nation newspaper
And so it began. Probably the most audacious cave rescue we've ever seen. I reported reported extensively on this life-or-death mission, with my first article filed the day after John Volanthen and Rick Stanton had found the boys.
This is one of the great stories of our time. Chai Varsarheylyi, Oscar-winning co-director of Free Solo
Now that the dust has settled John Volanthen has put pen to paper, and worked with author Matt Allen, to write 'Thirteen Lessons that Saved Thirteen Lives'. The hardback is published today - Tuesday 1 June 2021. (ISBN: 978-0-7112-6609-4).
John Volanthen tells you about the Thai cave rescue from his point of view, and how he applied the life lessons he learned from previous rescues and record-breaking cave dives in Tham Luang cave. What is interesting is that he has shown you how these can also be applied to everyday obstacles and challenges.
Thirteen Lessons that Saved Thirteen Lives is now available in all good bookshops.