A heartwarming story has emerged following the safe rescue of 12 young soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave in Northern Thailand. The British diver who discovered the youngsters holed up in a dark and claustrophobic chamber deep within the Tham Luang caves has found love with a local Thai nurse.
Rick Stanton has been dating Siripon Bugnngern, nicknamed Amp, after meeting her just a few months ago while she was vacationing in England. The hero diver has stayed well away from the press in recent weeks after footage was released showing him and another British diver, John Volanthen, discovering the boys deep within the underwater maze. Amazingly, Amp is from Chiang Rai, northern Thailand, which is very close to where the Wild Boar football team went missing at the end of last month.
When Stanton, an expert cave diver, was called up by Thai authorities to help locate the team, Amp offered to use her bilingual skills to help translate communications between the Thai and British rescuers.
“Although it’s early days and they haven’t been together for long, Rick is absolutely besotted with Amp,” a source told the Daily Mail of their relationship. “She is from Chiang Rai so when Rick was asked to come and help rescue the missing boys Amp was right by his side.”
The source added:
“She has been helping Rick and the other divers throughout the rescue operation. Amp is part of the team, helping translate between the British and Thai rescuers. They are very close. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get married.”
Arriving back at London Heathrow airport Friday morning, Stanton talked of the staggering complexity and vastness of the perilous rescue operation.
“This was completely uncharted, unprecedented territory and nothing like this has been done. So, of course there were doubts,” he told reporters, according to the BBC. “I knew that we had a good team, with good support from the Thai authorities, the caving community and rescue organizations, so we had the best we could do to make a plan work.”
Fellow British diver John Volanthen insisted that he was not a hero, but that the rescue operation was something of a heroic joint effort.
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) July 12, 2018
“We are not heroes,” he said just after landing in London. “What we do is very calculating, very calm. It’s quite the opposite. We take it one step at a time and hopefully, as we’ve managed to in this case, we come up with the results.”
John Volanthan- was at school with this chap. First cave diver to reach the trapped boys in Thailand. Heroes mainly wear Sean the Sheep t shirts.. pic.twitter.com/dOE3Kr5Y7Z
— Fiona Edgar DipPFS (@fiona_edgar1971) July 12, 2018
British divers Mr. Jason Mallinson and Mr. John Volanthen awarded free flights from Thailand for life. There have been calls for the British to be honoured and knighted. Humanity at its best. 👏🏻🐗🙌🏻
— Mike (@mikegam40) July 12, 2018
“We’re just very happy that the boys are out and safe,” Volanthen added. “We were very relieved that they were all alive but I think at that point we realized the enormity of the situation and that’s perhaps why it took a while to get them all out.”
(H/T: Daily Mail)