News National Hero Australian cave rescuers to receive medals

Hero Australian cave rescuers to receive medals

Dr Richard 'Harry' Harris has recounted the most worrying moment of the daring Thai cave rescue. Photo: Facebook
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Nine Australians involved in the heroic Thai cave rescue operation will receive medals from Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove to honour their efforts.

Those to be acknowledged at a ceremony on Tuesday include Dr Richard ‘Harry’ Harris, Craig Challen and Chief Petty Officer Troy Eather.

The medals will be presented at a special reception to thank them at Government House in Canberra, also involving Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

It will be the first time the rescuers have been reunited since returning to Australia on July 13.

Mr Turnbull has previously described the effort to rescue 12 boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach as one of the most extraordinary acts of heroism, professionalism, discipline and teamwork.

Adelaide anaesthetist Dr Harris and his dive partner, retired Perth vet Mr Challen, were among an international team of cave-diving experts who freed the trapped boys and their soccer coach.

Sydney-based Chief Petty Officer Eather was a key figure in Operation Thailand Assist, having been involved in a number of significant operations since joining the Navy in 1991 as a trainee clearance diver.

During his 27 years of service, Chief Petty Officer Eather has served at sea on the minehunter HMAS Diamantina (II) and the guided missile frigate HMAS Canberra (II).

He also served in East Timor and Afghanistan, provided support during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and last year was involved in the recovery of a US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft off the central Queensland coast.

Thailand’s ambassador to Australia, Australia’s ambassador to Thailand, the acting Chief of the Defence Force, acting Australian Federal Police Commissioner and other senior government representatives will be attending.

The names of the AFP medal recipients are being withheld until the ceremony.


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