1. ITV Report

Calls for Coventry firefighter to be honoured following Thai cave rescue

Rick Stanton is a former firefighter from Coventry who was one of the first divers to find the boys in Thailand. Credit: BPM Media

There are calls for a firefighter from Coventry to be honoured after he helped rescue a group of stranded schoolboys in Thailand.

Rick Stanton, a former firefighter from Canley, was one of the first divers to reach the 12 boys and their football coach in the Chiang Rai province.

The group were trapped in a flooded cave for nine days before they were found by Mr Stanton and fellow diver John Volanthen.

The boys were trapped in the Tham Luang Cave network in Northern Thailand. Credit: PA

Lord Ashcroft, former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, has since tweeted that Mr Stanton and Mr Volanthen should be awarded the George Cross in recognition of their work.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Volanthen said he was 'relieved' the team had finally been rescued after 18 days.

Mr Volanthen, an IT Consultant from Bristol, said: "We were very pleased and we were very relieved that they were all alive but I think at that point we realised the enormity of the situation and that's perhaps why it took a while to get them all out.

"We are not heroes. What we do is very calculating, very calm. It's quite the opposite."

Mr Volanthen also paid tribute to Thai navy diver Saman Kunan, who died while replenishing oxygen canisters.

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