The father of a cave-diving Australian doctor died on Wednesday, shortly after his son performed a key function in rescuing a boys’ soccer crew trapped in a cave for 2 weeks in northern Thailand.
Anesthetist Richard Harris, who did the ultimate medical checks of the 12 trapped boys and their coach, was among the many divers who efficiently ended on Tuesday a mission that had gripped the eye of the world.
“Early this morning Harry’s father passed away here in Adelaide … after they’d all come out of the cave,” mentioned Andrew Pearce, of rescue service MedSTAR within the Australian metropolis, the place Harris, often known as Harry, is a specialist.
“It was a complete, unexpected shock,” Pearce, the organisation’s medical providers director, advised reporters. He gave no explanation for death or the age of Harris’ father, Jim.
“Harry put the mission first…now he’s having to come to deal with what actually happened overnight,” Pearce added. “You’ve given your all and then you find out the sad news about your father, who’s your best mate. That’s really, really tough.”
On Wednesday, Harris declined to remark to the Australian newspaper in Thailand.
The “Wild Boars,” aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach have been trapped on June 23 whereas exploring a cave complicated within the province of Chiang Rai when a downpour flooded the passageways.
British divers discovered them, hungry and huddled in darkness on a muddy financial institution in a partly flooded chamber a number of kilometers inside it, on Monday final week.
Harris performed a pivotal function within the rescue effort mounted after days of strategising easy methods to get the boys out, assessing their health for the perilous journey again to the surface.
“His unique skillset as a specialist doctor and his extensive experience as a cave diver were quintessential to the success of this operation,” Major Alex Rubin, of the Australian Defence Force, advised reporters in Chiang Rai.
Australian Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull, in a video he launched of a dialog with Harris, supplied his condolences and congratulations on the rescue’s success.
“No worries,” Harris is heard replying. “The big heroes in this are the children and the four Thai Navy SEALS who were looking after them. They are the toughest blokes and kids I have ever had the privilege to meet.”
In a condolence message to Harris on its Facebook web page, the elite Thai Navy unit mentioned, “We wish you the best for this very tough time. We never thank you enough for what you’ve done for the kids, their families and Thailand.”