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Thirteen Lessons that Saved Thirteen Lives: Thai Cave Rescue [9780711266094]

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Thirteen Lessons that Saved Thirteen Lives is diver John Volanthen's nail-biting account of the incredible rescue of a Thai youth soccer team who had been trapped for over a week in a flooded cave.

The world held its breath in July 2018 when the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach went missing for 9 days deep underground after being stranded by a rainy-season downpour while exploring a complex of caves after practice. The picture of them alive on a ledge in a flooded cave made front page news worldwide.

As his light flickered from one boy to another, one diver called out, How many of you? Thirteen, a boy answered. Brilliant, the diver said. That diver was British cave diver John Volanthen.

After 9 days trapped in the flooded cave complex in northern Thailand, and after an enormous effort that had transfixed the world, the missing 12 boys and their soccer coach had finally been found in the Tham Luang Cave. The world celebrated a happy ending and the incredible courage and skills of the rescue team.

Each chapter tells one part of the story from Tham Luang but also imparts a life lesson, gleaned from John's exploration and rescue efforts, that can be applied to everyday obstacles and challenges.

John's story shows how an average person can do the unimaginable, inspiring the superhero in us all.


John Volanthen began caving with the scouts at the age of 14 and is now a world record-holding British cave diver who has been at the forefront of underground rescue and exploration for over twenty years. Best known as the first diver to locate and contact the missing youth Thai soccer team with his diving partner Rick Stanton, he also planned and participated in the children's rescue, carrying three children to safety. John has been involved in search, rescue and recovery operations as well as mapping caves worldwide. His many awards include the British and Commonwealth George Medal, Royal Humane Society Bronze medal and Scientific Exploration Society Pioneer with Purpose.

With a background in medical electronics, John has invented underwater mapping devices, communications systems and state of the art, micro rebreathers, allowing divers to stay underwater longer than was previously possible. In 2005 at Wookey Hole in Somerset, Volanthen and Stanton advanced the British cave diving depth record to 90 m (295 ft). As part of an international team, he set a world record for the longest cave dive from the surface, reaching 10k m (33,000 ft) in the Pozo Azul cave system in the Rudron Valley in Spain. John lives in Bristol and continues to explore and document underwater caves throughout the world. He is always on standby for the next rescue.

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John Volanthen
Aurum Press
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