Jill interviews Dr. Richard Harris, the brave cave diver and physician who was instrumental in rescuing the young Thai soccer team trapped in a flooded cave. “The Rescue”, a new National Geographic documentary film, is now available on your cable TV platform.
Dr Richard Harris
Dr Richard “Harry” Harris, SC, OAM is a cave diver and anesthetist from Australia who played a critical role in the Tham Luang cave rescue. In June 2018, Harris was about to leave on a cave diving vacation to the Nullarbor Plain when he and dive partner Craig Challen were asked by the Thai government, on the advice of British cave diving experts, to assist with the rescue efforts of twelve Thai children and their soccer coach who were trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system.
Harris’ efforts throughout the rescue have been lauded; he performed a medical examination on all of the trapped boys, and it was on his advice that authorities reversed their initial strategy of rescuing the strongest boys first, followed by the weakest. Harris decided on the method to be used and the order in which the boys would be extracted. To allow the rescue to take place, Harris gave the boys a sedative to ensure they did not panic during the rescue. Following the rescue, Harris and Challen were the last members of the rescue team to leave the caves.
The Governor-General of Australia awarded Harris and Challen the Star of Courage (SC) and Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on July 24, 2018. Harris was appointed a Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn by King Bhumibol Adulyadej on September 7, 2018.